Service is the common thread that motivates and deeply inspires all Omega Phi Alpha members. Through the years, OPA sisters have donated hundreds of thousands of volunteer hours. In the 2015-16 academic year, collegiate members logged more than 58,384 service hours. The impact and value of these hours is tremendous, equaling more than $580,000 worth of service if each of those hours was worked at $10 an hour.
Members of Omega Phi Alpha join together each year and direct their efforts toward performing chapter and individual service projects in six areas. These areas correspond to the direct beneficiaries of the projects. Each collegiate chapter is required to plan at least six projects per semester:
One project for each of these four areas:
University Community—Help make a college campus a better place and support the university by giving back. Volunteer efforts should directly benefit the university, students, faculty and staff.
Community-at-Large—Many nonprofit organizations around the community are in need of outstanding OPA volunteers who are willing to share their time and talents.
Members of the Sorority—Service to the membership should directly benefit OPA sisters–actives or alumnae.
Nations of the World—OPA’s international service extends to those living outside the United States.
One project for the national Permanent Project:
Mental Health—The national Permanent Project is mental health. Designated in 1971 during the national Convention, mental health was purposefully chosen after former National President Susan Terzian passed away suddenly in a car accident. Mental health was the national project she had chosen at the time.
One project for the national President’s Project:
Chapter Choice (2016–17)—Announced each year during the national Convention, OPA’s national president selects one cause to unite the service efforts of sisters across the country. This year, National President Heather Pritchard (Nu) is allowing each chapter to select their own cause. See the video:
Many active chapters go above and beyond these requirements, performing several projects within each of the six areas. The chapter may sponsor additional projects, which members feel passionately about or have a personal connection to due to a special situation. At Convention each year, chapters and individual members are recognized for their service contributions.
Every sister who joins Omega Phi Alpha does so for the opportunity to serve others. This desire carries into post-collegiate life and makes OPA alumnae some of the most active volunteers in the country, many devoting more than 20 hours a month to serving others. Alumnae also continue to volunteer their time by using professional skills to support local charities independently or as part of an alumnae chapter. Others get involved with community programs at churches, shelters, hospitals or fundraising efforts. Service to the active chapters is also an important way alumnae can stay actively involved.
Find out how to participate in the Serve-a-Thon program for National Service Week in November.
Throughout OPA’s history, chapters and alumnae have partnered with various national and local organizations and causes.
American Cancer Society
Books for Africa
Boys and Girls Clubs
Eat So They Can
Feed My Starving Children
Girl Scouts of America
Habitat for Humanity
Humane Society / ASPCA
Local food pantries and banks
Nothin’ but Nets
Operation Welcome Home
Reading is Fundamental
Ronald McDonald House
Sponsor-a-Street Clean Up
St. Baldrick’s Foundation
THON (Children’s Hospital Dance Marathon)
Threads of Hope
Toys for Tots
Wounded Warrior Project