Regional chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority converged on Kinston Saturday for its annual Eastern Carolina Cluster Conference and they came bearing gifts.
The opening session of the day-long conference, held at Lenoir Community College, featured the presentation of backpacks and school supplies to Lenoir County Public Schools and Greene County Schools for distribution in Title I schools
“We thank the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority for your generous donation today. It will have a great impact on our students. I thank you for putting into action your ideal of service for all mankind with this generous donation,” Nicholas Harvey II, LCPS’s assistant superintendent, said in accepting the gift.
The two school districts each received 95 backpacks stuffed with school supplies and healthy snacks. They were delivered to the school systems on Monday in recognition of Childhood Hunger Awareness Day, one of the sorority’s Community Impact Days.
The backpack campaign was coordinated by the sorority’s Zeta Omicron Omega Chapter of Kinston, the host chapter for the conference, and called for sorority members to contribute items for the schools as the conference’s signature community service project.
Kinston Mayor B.J. Murphy, in remarks welcoming AKA members, catalogued several of the sorority’s other service projects, including assistance during last year’s Hurricane Matthew and the subsequent flooding.
“This sorority, I know for a fact, helped in the shelters and helped with American Red Cross. I want to thank you for that,” Murphy said. “Thank you for your work to stomp out hunger, your help with the playground mobilization at Holloway (Recreation Center), your help with Adopt-A-Highway, your help with Relay for Life, your support for Alzheimer’s awareness, your support with the Ascend (youth enrichment) program. You are what makes our community and this society so great.”
These and other service projects are currently undertaken as elements of AKA’s international program Launching New Dimensions of Service.
The backpack project was chaired by Lavonell Whitfield, Sarah Connor and Jada Mumford, all members of Zeta Omicron Omega chapter.
Alpha Kappa Alpha in eastern North Carolina is comprised of 17 graduate chapters and six undergraduate chapters.