The Theta Phi Chapter of Alpha Xi Delta is excited to bring Autism Speaks to UAB. We engage the entire university through tabling all across campus. The surrounding community is encouraged to participate through percentage nights at local restaurants as well as Light It Up Blue throughout April. Here at UAB, Alpha Xi has a strong connection to Mitchell’s Place, a school designed for children affected by autism to thrive. Our philanthropy reaches far beyond the borders of campus. Below is a brief summary of some of our staple events throughout the year.
"Xi Man Sweetheart Competition"
Our major philanthropy event in the spring bring our chapter closer to our campus and Greek community. One man representing each on campus fraternity and one man representing the non-Greek community compete in a lip-sync battle to be our "Xi Man". The week leading up to the lip-sync battle, contestants partake in tabling events on the UAB campus green to sell t-shirts and tickets to raise money for Autism Speaks. Sisters have so much fun helping these men come up with their lip-sync routines and the audience can always count on an entertaining performance! This event brings UAB and the surrounding community together to help raise money and promote understanding and acceptance for Autism Speaks. We couldn’t ask for a more perfect day!
"Into the Streets"
Every year, UAB hosts a campus-wide volunteering day! These past few years, we've collaborated with the Alabama Autism society to help the Birmingham community directly that day. In 2019, we helped host the event "Touch-a-Truck", which helped prepare and introduce children with Autism or other sensory-disorders adjust to emergency vehicles, their sounds, and how to respond. We brought some fun with us though, with some amazing mascots, snacks, mini-games, and even some fun trucks such as Monster Trucks and racing cars!
"Boo at the Zoo"
During the fall, the Theta Phi chapter loves to assist the Birmingham community. One of our favorite events is "Boo at the Zoo", a sensory-friendly night at the Birmingham Zoo! The sisters of the Theta Phi chapter volunteer to help bring some Halloween joy to the families of Birmingham. From setting up minigames, trick-or-treating with the families, running the train, and even hosting a petting zoo, our sisters and the zoo volunteers do everything to make this night special and accommodating to each child's needs.
Another favorite volunteer spot of ours is the local school "Mitchell's Place", a specialized school for children with autism and other developmental disabilities. They are equipped with specially trained educators and therapists to help not only give each child a full schooling experience, but help counsel children in social, communicative, adaptive and academic functioning. We love going out and hosting a special Halloween party for them, with arts & crafts tables, inflatable slides, and treats to go all around!
"Letters of Love"
Both a virtual and in-person experience, we have a special event we call the "Letters of Love"! Sisters of Theta Phi send to their friends, families, professors, and loved ones letters asking for donations to our philanthropy Autism Speaks! When someone replies with a donation, we proceed to send hand-written letters of appreciations (or emails in COVID's case) expressing our gratitude and showing them how much this means to us.