Omega Phi Alpha to host fundraising bake sale for domestic violence survivors

Chris DiMeo

Members of Omega Phi Alpha will be hosting a fundraising bake sale in Downing Student Union on Oct. 16 and 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Items at the sale will cost $1 each and the money raised will benefit the Barren River Area Safe Space (BRASS), a local shelter and resource center that provides essential services to survivors of domestic violence. BRASS will then use the funds to purchase diapers for the children of survivors residing at the shelter.

The sale is a service project carried out by Omega Phi Alpha’s Community-At-Large Committee, said committee head and OPA member Madeline Payne.

OPA is an entirely service-dedicated sorority, Payne said, and is divided up into several focused committees, each of which have their own area of specialization.

Once a semester, each committee is responsible for designing and carrying out a service project for their area, though members of all committees regularly assist those in other committees with their projects as well, Payne said.

The Community-At-Large Committee chose to partner with BRASS for their project for two reasons, Payne said. Partly, Payne said, because she worked at BRASS for a summer internship and was familiar with what they do, but also because October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month. 

“BRASS is not only a shelter. There are eight bedrooms in the house, and sometimes they have 30 or more people in the house,” Payne said. “But they also offer counseling services that are free, and anyone that goes and files a DVO, which is a Domestic Violence Order, kind of like an EPO but specifically for domestic violence, they’ll help them with that. They offer a lot of child services as well for those kids who are involved in domestic violence cases.”

BRASS also provides services that give survivors access to financial assistance, medical services and transportation.

“They’re really good at helping women find jobs as well,” Payne said.

“Considering this is all free, really anyone in the community who needs help can get it,” she said.

Several of Omega Phi Alpha’s other committees will also be holding service events within the month, such as the Nations Committee, which will be fundraising in DSU on Oct. 23-26 to collect money for WaterStep, an organization that provides safe water solutions to communities abroad. 

OPA members will also hold two self esteem-focused events on campus: a “Boo-Grams” table in DSU from Oct. 21 to Nov. 1, where passersby can buy snacks that come with a positive message, and “Pop Into Positivity” on Oct. 26, where participants receive a balloon on which they write a stressor or struggle in their life, and then pop to reveal an encouraging note within.

Further details and upcoming events can be found on Omega Phi Alpha’s Twitter or Facebook.

Reporter Chris DiMeo can be reached at [email protected]