The Community Outreach Club (COC) and sorority Lambda Omicron Xi (LOXi) are hosting a dance party tonight at the Silo known simply as GLOW – “Give Life to Our World.”
GLOW is a charity event aimed at spreading awareness about the environment and renewable energy to local and global communities.
The night begins at 7 p.m. and runs until 10 p.m. Events will entail DJ music, T-shirt contests, glow-in-the-dark bracelets, a raffle and light refreshments. Tickets are available at the Freeborn Ticket Office for $7, or can be purchased at the door for $10.
All proceeds from the event will go towards two organizations, one being the Solar Electric Light Fund (SELF) and Camp Concord. SELF is an organization that builds solar panels and provides electricity to communities all over the world that lack proficient natural resources.
“We are giving life by providing electricity in hospitals, schools and businesses,” said Michael Gutierrez, vice president of COC.
SELF will hand out micro-loans to these communities in order to make the purchase of the solar panels affordable. The cost will eventually be paid back to SELF, but at a slow and manageable rate, Gutierrez said.
To determine which communities receive these solar panels, SELF volunteers travel the world and suggest which areas should be helped first. Together they plan out where to construct the panels and then the volunteers return to the U.S. to commence production.
“It’s a step toward getting [these communities] to the 21st century,” Gutierrez said.
Proceeds from the event are also going to Camp Concord, a completely sponsor-free group that relies on donations and volunteer work. Karla Reyes, another member of COC, said that Camp Concord takes inner-city kids for a week and teaches them about being environmentally friendly.
The kids receive a chance to learn to live without electricity for a week, which in turn is supposed to make them appreciate what they have. Camp Concord also works at promoting renewable energy resources, such as solar energy, hydroelectric and wind power.
“We believe global warming is a high concern nowadays,” Reyes said. “We want to give back to our community and the environment.”
Both COC and LOXi have mission statements directed at serving the community. While COC has the desire to serve communities both foreign and domestic, LOXi works to help local communities.
COC is completely student-run without any sponsorship and relies on their members for volunteer work. They work on a multitude of events that focus on helping the environment, including topics such as protecting endangered species and deforestation.
“We are purely student-run, and the students start everything,” Gutierrez said.
For LOXi, the main focus is to help women and children while serving local communities. They emphasize nonprofit events, which as an added benefit give the sisters time to bond while working together, said Christina Souksavong, president of the sorority.
Souksavong said she recognizes the importance of spreading global warming awareness, because she feels people rely too much upon electricity and take it for granted. LOXi as a whole sees renewable energy resources as the most viable way to fight global warming.
“Whether we like it or not our resources are going to dwindle,” Souksavong said. “We need to find alternative energy resources, and solar panels will increase the amount of electricity you get in the long run.”
According to the two groups, LOXi and COC will be teaming up in the future to put on more events – not only due to their similar goals, but because friends within both organizations help further cooperation and teamwork.
CORY BULLIS can be reached email@example.com.