Lambda Pi Eta, a national honors society at Temple University with chapters across the country, this spring sponsored a fundraising drive for Morris Home. The fundraiser sought to bring awareness and visibility to trans issues on Temple’s campus, while also benefiting a local Philadelphia organization.
Morris Home is a recovery facility for transgender and gender-variant individuals that seeks to provide a safe environment in which program participants can pursue sobriety, healthy lifestyles and improved relationships.
Julie Seidman, co-president of Lambda Pi Eta, explained why this particular fundraiser for Morris Home was so important.
“We are hoping to positively benefit a community that often goes overlooked,” Seidman said. “We also want to start the conversation about gender-nonconformity on campus, to make people think about how entrenched our lives are in gender norms, and why it makes people feel so uncomfortable when they are not followed.”
This is the second year Lambda Pi Eta has held a fundraiser for Morris Home.
Seidman noted how the fundraiser allows students on campus to get involved with social-justice issues.
“The drive creates a space for students who want to do more to promote social equality, but don’t know how or are discouraged by what seems to be insurmountable obstacles,” she said. “My hope is that the drive will set an example to others to do similar projects, especially on college campuses.”
In fact, Lambda Pi Eta has already influenced other groups on campus to hold similar fundraisers and to reach out to the Philadelphia community.
“A fraternity at Temple, Phi Sigma Pi, now donates clothing to Morris Home every semester, because our honors society’s co-president brought the idea to them and they loved it. It’s things like this that I want to leave behind when I graduate from Temple.”
The fundraiser started in mid-March and continued through mid-April, with Lambda Pi Eta collecting used clothing, art supplies, books and toiletries for Morris Home. They also fundraised to buy wigs and make-up for the residents as well.
Matty Bennett is a graduate student at Virginia Tech, pursuing his master of fine arts in creative writing.