South by Sea and Philanthropy: From CM Payton!

Alpha Omicron Pi is a pretty special chapter here at Indiana State University. I’ve been a proud member since the fall of 2014, and I cannot express how much the chapter has grown to mean to me. Of course all of the sleepovers, parties, and socials are the memories I will cherish for a lifetime; however, one of the most important things that AOII embodies is our philanthropy, which is arthritis. 

Everyone knows someone who is affected by arthritis. No, it’s not just something people struggle with in nursing homes. Children, teenagers, and adults alike struggle with arthritis. Arthritis is the LEADING cause of disability in the United States, and it affects one in five people. Knowing that AOII donates millions of dollars collectively to the Arthritis Foundation each year means the world to me. 

On October 22nd, AOII held our annual “Strike Out Arthritis” whiffle ball tournament on campus. Fraternities, sororities, and co-ed teams from both ISU and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology participated in a day full of fun, competition, and philanthropy. AOIIs were stationed all around the event, and we all had different tasks. Some girls were proudly coaching teams, some were trying their best to umpire the games, and some were keeping score. No matter what everyone was doing, everyone was having a blast. 

The tournament was single-elimination style, so the competition was pretty intense. After a long, surprisingly hot day, the final game came around and consisted of Sigma Phi Epsilon and Sigma Alpha Epsilon. Since both teams were from ISU, a fairly large crowd gathered to cheer on their favorite fraternity men. SAE knocked out SigEp by the final inning. The men won a trophy along with 6 giftcards (for food of course). 

Throughout my years as an AOII, our chapter has held dozens of events and raised thousands of dollars for the Arthritis Foundation. From a Paint-A-Pi event in the first few weeks of school where people pay to spray us with paint to Pi Olympics in the fall where people make teams and compete in a series of obstacles, we are constantly trying our best to raise money and awareness of arthritis while also having fun. Although our fundraising events change based on the seasons, one thing consistently remains the same: shirts from South by Sea. 

The thing I love most about working for South by Sea just so happens to go hand-in-hand with the thing I love most about my organization. Each chapter has a different philanthropy, and each philanthropy is important. South by Sea knows this. They support chapters’ philanthropies on a much higher level than any other company I have ever worked with. They generously donate 5% of the proceeds from your order straight to your chapter’s philanthropy when you order your apparel through them. Even in a small chapter like mine of less than 80 girls, we ended up raising around $100 just from the shirt orders, which was over 10% of what we raised for our event as a whole. 

South by Sea makes it easy to order amazing shirts while also raising money for your organization’s philanthropy. Honestly, what more could you ask for?! They come up with hand-drawn, custom designs based on exactly what you want for your event. Knowing that our shirts were raising money for arthritis already sold my chapter, but the fact that the shirts were one-of-a-kind and unique to our chapter made a huge difference too. Plus the amount of people who played in the tournament who asked me if they could still order a shirt prompted me to reopen the link for a reorder, so that should tell you how big of a hit the shirts were!