From a chickadee: hayley
One of the most unique (and perhaps most compelling) aspects of our organization is our members’ dedication to service. Chickadees are incredibly colorful and ambitious individuals from all over the globe with diverse and varied backgrounds, interests, and passions, united in their desire to serve others. I truly cannot think of a better environment to foster a love of community service and philanthropy than here in Chickadees!
We cultivate our members’ love for and commitment to philanthropy in the early stages of Chickadee life through our Peep Project, an on-campus service event that benefits and raises awareness for the organization or cause of the new members’ (called Peeps) choice. This project serves several different functions in integrating Peeps into Chickadees. Firstly, it is a way for new members to create a long-lasting partnership with an organization or cause they are particularly passionate about as a class. Secondly, it allows for the Peeps to develop interpersonal and problem-solving skills, to work as a team to reach a goal, and to bond together in friendship. Lastly, the Peep Project demonstrates the Peeps’ commitment to philanthropy and empowers them to tackle large projects in the future with confidence, philanthropy-related or otherwise.
The Peep Project takes around five or six months to plan because members must first choose the organization they would like to partner with and then they have to plan the actual event (or events, in the case of the Gamma and Delta classes), which is where I come in. I was so attached to the Peep Project last year as a Delta that I am going through it all over again, and I have never been more excited! My role as Peep Mentor is to facilitate the transition from Peep to Chickadee by guiding the Peeps in planning their project. Since I just finished the Peep Project last Spring, I am fresh with lots of experience and loads of advice to give.
My greatest hope for the Epsilon Peeps is that you will find your home here in Chickadees (and with your classmates) through the Peep Project. I hope you find an organization so worthy and incredible that your hearts leap and yell, “Yes! This is it!”, the same way we did when we found our partnerships. I especially hope you’ll see the impact you’re making on the Austin community, and that you’ll feel proud of the work you’ve done at the end of the project.
Any time I reflect on the Delta Peep Project, I can’t help but smile. Some days I was fed up couldn’t wait to be done with the project (like the day I spent trying to track down a Lazy Susan and ended up stranded at Ikea in Round Rock with fellow Delta, Caroline Freden) but I will always be indebted to the process because it gave me my very best friends and a wonderful partnership with an amazing organization, Sammy’s House. There’s a method to our madness, and I know you will look fondly on your days as a Peep as well.