Campus Life

Fraternity Mentors Children With Disabilities

The Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity hosted a dinner at Potbelly’s in Little Rock in an effort to support its latest philanthropy project, UCA Best Buddies.

The project offers role models for children with disabilities that often render them socially under-stimulated. The fraternity partnered with Independent Living Services to find children who would benefit from participating in the program.

Phi Sigma Kappa hopes to earn enough money to support this philanthropic project and establish a long-lasting relationship with community members with disabilities.

Phi Sigma Kappa member senior James Flanagan said the organization is a step in the right direction.

“Best Buddies is a program designed to allow students to get to know special needs people on a personal level and give them a long-lasting friendship that will hopefully last beyond the students’ collegiate years,” he said.

Freshman Trenton Parker said this specific outreach is great in all aspects.

“So far, we have been paired with a buddy and we aim to help them find a friend and move them along through their walk of life,” he said.

Best Buddies is new to UCA’s campus and stems from the national branches of Phi Sigma Kappa’s previous work with the Special Olympics.

“Our national philanthropy is the Special Olympics, so I thought that if our entire organization is a part of Best Buddies, then we would be able to have a better understanding of why we have the Special Olympics as our philanthropy and why it is so important,” Flanagan said.

Flanagan said that Greek involvement is paramount in delivering community outreach for youth around the state. Best Buddies is the latest step taken in that direction.

“The most important part is being able to impact so many people’s lives just by being involved,” Flanagan said. “It really can change people’s lives, views and opinions.”

Parker was excited about the benefits of the program and hopes it struck a cord with the public.

“I would love to stay a part of this organization, and I wouldn’t be surprised if it stayed as a part of the fraternity in the long run,” he said.

The event was hosted on Nov. 5 at Potbelly’s in Little Rock.

Twenty-five percent of the proceeds funded Phi Sigma Kappa’s future philanthropic endeavors. Other proceeds go toward the fraternity’s needs.

This article originally appeared in the Nov. 11, 2015 print edition of The Echo.

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