FAU councils raising money for COVID-19 relief

By Justin Baronoff, The Boca Raton Tribune; photo via @faufslife

The Coronavirus pandemic has prompted students involved in Greek Life at FAU to not only raise money for their own organization’s philanthropy, but has united all four Greek councils at the university together as they all benefited the Tampa General Hospital Foundation as a group.

The four Greek councils at FAU, the Interfraternity Council (IFC), the College Panhellenic Association (CPA), the Multicultural Greek Council (MGC), and the National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC), have already raised almost $1500 that will go toward supplying face masks, gloves and other materials needed to assist nurses and doctors, as well as even helping them pay personal finances, such as food and rent.

“Philanthropy is such an important part of our community and what better way to include our community in something as prevalent as this,” IFC President Logan Kramer said. “I am lucky to have a great connection with Tampa General Hospital and we saw the immediate need for funding.”

Before deciding on Tampa General Hospital, the four Greek Councils at FAU looked at all possible options, including partnering with local Boca Raton hospitals. Nevertheless, according to Kramer, the process to partner with a local hospital would have taken around three weeks.

With Kramer’s prior connection to John Couris, Tampa General Hospital’s President and CEO, the process only took three days, which is when IFC Vice President of Philanthropy Enrique Barrios then officially created the COVID-19 Relief philanthropy on April 13.

Between donations made on the fundraising website, Crowd Change, the money transfer application, Venmo, and even directly to the Tampa General Hospital Foundation, Kramer has been pushing the philanthropy through the other 400 plus organizations at the university as well, leaving Couris to be “absolutely speechless.”

“Young people have so much going on in their lives between school, social life, work, and then to stop and think about the community, or the state in this case, is outstanding,” Couris said. “It shows you the type of character that’s built through Greek life.”

With donations continuing to increase daily, Greek life students have also been posting templates on social media to encourage anyone to donate and even if it’s just helping a doctor obtain a N95 Respirator Mask, it could go a long way in saving a life.

“With any philanthropy, you have to be passionate and present, which is what drove me to put this whole thing together,” Barrios said. “We are in a period of containment, but that does not mean we can’t still do more and that was my primary motivation.”

Even though Kramer and Barrios will donate the total amount of money collected through Crowd Change and Venmo on April 27 when spring semester classes at FAU officially end, the philanthropy will remain accepting donations for the foreseeable future.

Couris, who has been in the healthcare industry for nearly 30 years, expects the peak of the virus to reach Florida by May 3, but as donations continue to help the doctors and nurses perform their duties, he is optimistic by June 1 that “we should start seeing a drop off.”

“When my hospital is on the west coast and [FAU] is on the east coast, it’s really touching and goes to show you that our state is a total community,” Couris said. “Florida Atlantic University through their Greek life has really stepped up and every single dollar counts.”

To donate, one can either use Venmo, by sending donations to @FAU-Greeklife or by visiting the Crowd Change here.