We have all been struck with the ramifications of Covid-19 so San Jose Delta Upsilon decided to form the DU Community Assistance Relief and Equality Security or DU Cares. This is an San Jose DU specific initiative formed this year to help our community deal with the variety of newly formed pitfalls Covid has presented us all with.
Delta Upsilon international runs the Global Service Initiative where we send young men to Jamaica 3 times a year. Our goal is to aid families that do not benefit from the tourism hotspots of the island by constructing homes, schools and public facilities. It is rewarding work that transforms our brothers into global citizens, who are open-minded and inspired by serving the global community. Unfortunately, Covid-19 hit GSI was cancelled, and our chapters plans to send brothers to Jamaica came to a screeching halt. However, this roadblock didn’t derail us from our goal of service; it simply allowed us to shift our focus from overseas back to our local community. Covid-19 has flipped our lives upside down, leaving many people jobless, worsened the homeless crisis, and created a sense of panic and anxiety amongst all individuals. These circumstances have led many to rethink how we should operate on a day to day basis. Working from home has been a revolutionized work during the pandemic, but what about those without a home? What about those who didn’t have easy access to food, or even water over the course of the pandemic? After noticing this blatant inequality within our community, we shifted our focus to helping this unhoused population of San Jose. On October 20th, 2020 the brothers of DU walked over to 2nd Street Park, and spent a few hours handing out 15 cases of water to anybody who needed it. October 2020 was one of the hottest Octobers San Jose has had on record, and the park was also engulfed in a thick layer of hazy smoke from a wildfire raging nearby. In November, we held a winter clothes drive aimed at collecting insulated and warm clothing for the unhoused in San Jose. The collection drive ran from early November until Christmas Eve. We were able to collect and distribute 2 ½ pallets of warm clothing to the unhoused population, directly to people who needed them the most.
Our chapter didn’t stop there, setting our sites now on children the most affected by Covid-19.
Heading into the holiday season, we shifted our focus to families and children affected by Covid-19. Many parents have lost their jobs, making it impossible to give their children the gifts they deserve for the holidays. Not to mention children in the foster care system who suffer from lack of care, and received less love and financial support this year than ever before. We decided to launch the “DU Gifts for Kids” program to get children in need the gifts they deserved for the holidays. We partnered with the Alliance Human Services group and the David & Margaret Youth and Family Services to make this possible. We accepted new toys and monetary donations, where every $10 donated would equate to one new toy. The drive continued until December 19th and with tremendous community support we were able to donate over 200 brand new toys to families in need.
Part philanthropy, part service, GSI builds global communities and better men. This service is organized by our International headquarters and sends men from each Delta Upsilon chapter around the country to Jamaica for a week long service opportunity. Our volunteers construct homes, schooling facilities and public spaces for the people of Jamaica, offering a great chance for our members to become global citizens.
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From now until Christmas Eve, we are accepting donations of new and lightly used winter clothing that will be donated to the unhoused population of Downtown San Jose. This service opportunity is intending to allow the unhoused a fighting chance against the cold this winter. With COVID-19 still ravaging our community we ask that all donations be mailed to our chapter facility, the address located bellow and on the Contact Us page.
Give back this winter and make a difference in our Community.
Our brotherhood may be separated by great distances this year due to COVID-19 restriction, but our sentiment of helping those in need follows us everywhere.