As nurses, doctors and other staff at UNC Hospital are working extra hours amid the coronavirus pandemic, UNC’s Interfraternity Council (IFC) has found a way to lend support to frontline medical workers.
Every Wednesday through June, lunches will be delivered to the hospital and distributed to staff, courtesy of a donation from the IFC.
Money for the donation effort came from unused funds the council had in the wake of campus closures this semester. The IFC, which is a coalition of UNC fraternities, typically earmarks money for philanthropy events or other council initiatives. But with membership dispersed following campus closures, the council decided to redirect those funds to supporting the hospital.
Brandon Wacaser, president of the IFC and of UNC’s Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, originally pitched the idea to his fellow councilmembers and to the hospital.
“We were forced to think outside of the box and think about how we could benefit the community,” Wacaser said. “Obviously part of being in a fraternity is social, but then there is the other side that’s thinking about what we can do to better ourselves and our community and help others.”
Wacaser, a business major who is also following a premed track, has volunteered at UNC’s Lineberger Cancer Center for several years, and used his contacts at the hospital to set up the food donations. He helped with the first delivery to the hospital last Wednesday, which was lunch from Venable, a restaurant in Carrboro.
He said he hopes that individual chapters will be able to support the donation effort as well with any leftover chapter funds from the semester.
“I’m hoping we can get to a point where we can deliver two or three meals a week,” he said.