When a simple request was made in a Google group, Gamma Chapter brothers answered far beyond what was asked.

October 30, 2020 | Posted In Features

Brother Jay Van Deusen has gotten more involved with Alpha Gamma Rho and the Gamma Chapter at Pennsylvania State University in recent years, because of the increase in communication among brothers. He stays connected through emails and Google groups for alumni and, recently, a simple request piqued his attention. Brother Nathan Bevans, a Captain in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard posted in this alumni group talking about some of the items that are quickly taken for granted, like shampoo or snacks, while working missions in Baghdad. Brother Van Deusen saw this and immediately thought of the sacrifices these men and women make while not having access to simple items.

Hearing this need, Jay put out a call to the Gamma Chapter alumni asking for some support to send a simple care package to help Captain Bevans and the 48 troops he’s overseas with. In less than 48 hours over $6,000 was raised; allowing for 50 boxes to be packaged and shipped overseas.

Knowing that 50 boxes of supplies would take a team, eight brothers came together to package the boxes to be shipped from Maryland. “Some of them {Gamma Chapter brothers} I had never met, despite being close in initiation numbers,” Jay recounted, “anytime we can have a project helping another brother is phenomenal, and is a way to bring us together.” Brother Van Deusen went on to express that service projects like these are an excellent way to “increase the bonds of brotherhood and remind us why we joined the Gamma Chapter.”

Captain Bevans with the AGR sweatshirt the chapter sent to him
(L TO R): JON SCHROER, RICK HESS, JAY VAN DEUSEN, RICK LOWER, KEN DIETZ, RAY SHEAFFER, DANE LAUVER, MARK MELLINGER.

The packages arrived to Captain Bevans and provided a great morale boost to each soldier as Captain Bevans handed out the boxes. “I am truly grateful that my brotherhood came together to send packages. Some of these guys have not received anything. For them, to know someone is thinking of them, means the world,” said Captain Bevans to his brothers after receiving the packages.

The Gamma Chapter is planning to send another group of packages to Captain Bevans during the holiday season, and Brother Van Deusen hopes that chapters and brothers across the country will consider how they can give back to those who are deployed overseas, “I will always be looking for ways to remind them how appreciative, proud and thankful to have them in our ranks,” says Jay.

If you’re interested in helping the Gamma Chapter send the holiday packages, reach out to Jay Van Deusen via email, [email protected]. The packages take about two and a half weeks to ship, so their goal is to have these ready to be sent out about 4 weeks before Christmas.

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