As of April 5, Kappa Alpha fraternity raised $3,875 on GoFundMe for one of its employees whose hours have been restricted because of COVID-19.
Greek Village staff members, such as Alberta Garcia, who cleans the Kappa Alpha house, have been unable to work full-time hours because of coronavirus-related closures.
The fraternity decided to keep Garcia on part-time, having her work 20 hours per week instead of her usual 40. Garcia has cleaned the fraternity’s house for the last three years.
“She shows up every day and puts a smile on each member’s face as she does her job and makes everyone else’s day just a little bit better,” JT Isgett, the Kappa Alpha president and a political science student, said.
She is a single mother of three and works to provide for her children. Garcia cleans up after the 30 members who live in the house, in addition to cleaning up after the around 130 members come for each mealtime.
Garcia said the job gives her the flexibility to take her kids to school, pick them up and take care of her family.
Originally, the fraternity reached out to parents, friends and family members to see if they could find some extra jobs for Garcia since she was working limited hours at the house and had been laid off from some of her other jobs.
After hearing about this, fourth-year psychology student Landon Nott came up with the idea to start the GoFundMe.
“It kinda occurred to me, well, I mean, she cleaned our house every day. The least we can do is pay her back,” Nott said. “It might have been my initial idea, but if it wasn’t for our whole chapter, as a community, we wouldn’t have been able to do this.”
When the fundraiser was created, the first goal was $1,000, but it was met in under an hour, so the chapter raised the goal.
“All of our members sent out the link to their family and friends along with posting it on Facebook and this led us to raise $3,735 total,” Noah Moore, a third-year political science student and the KA philanthropy chair, said in an email interview.
Isgett and Moore presented Garcia a check for $3,735 while she was working at the house. Garcia said she was "blown away" and "speechless" when she found out.
According to the GoFundMe page, all of the money raised will go directly to helping Garcia pay rent and buy groceries for herself and her family.
“Alberta is a super human. She does so many things for every single one of our members of KA,” Moore said.
Isgett said Garcia means a lot to the members of Kappa Alpha Order.
“She’s a deserving woman. She’s family in our fraternity, in everybody's eyes,” Isgett said.
Nott said this time of uncertainty caused by the pandemic was a call to action for him.
“No one's ever really experienced something like this, but it's really calling for people to step up and play their part even if we can't do it in person,” Nott said.
The fraternity was proud to do their part, Isgett said.
“That’s the biggest thing I want to do, is — when you go through such a pandemic like this, where nobody knows where to turn, nobody knows what to do — to have the community come together and help people in a time of need, really was a great thing to do,” Isgett said.