For the second year in a row, a group of men representing the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity of the Phi Mu My Chapter entertained nursing home residents by singing Christmas Carols, bringing a devotion and word and handing out gift bags.
While the event was at St. Andrews Place Nursing Home last holiday season, the alumni members decided to reach out to Salem Place Nursing and Rehabilitation to spread cheer across the community.
Omega Psi Phi's Derrick Flowers said the organization itself is about giving back and do so through scholarships, talent hunts and other programs and event throughout the year, including the $100 the group donated toward Thanksgiving to a local church.
"During this time of year, we definitely want to give back," he said. "Not just during the holidays. We want to give back to the immunity and we want to be seen."
Flowers said most of the time people see fraternity members as party goers and drunks but they want to exceed those low expectations and let people know what they are truly about while serving the community, giving and doing their part.
"It feels good to give back," he said. "A lot of time people see us doing it and they think we might be doing it for show but coming from the in-depth of our heart can show people that we really care."
Member Curtis Gatewood, who helped organize the event at Salem Place, said they were thrilled when he told them what the group wanted to do.
"They were excited over us doing this," he said.
Flowers said when residents see new faces, often times it puts smiles on their faces from the start.
He said the group not only planned to interact with residents during the Christmas program, but wants to build relationships with the residents.
"Not just to come back and give them Christmas baskets, but maybe just to come back to read to them, sing to them and uplift them," Flowers said. "I personally think that's where it starts, building relationships and I want to make it know with all, with all people."
He said through the organization's giving, he also hopes to set an example for the younger generation. "Service [is a] big thing with our organization," Flowers said. "But, giving back and for them to see you, but also teach them and lift them as we keep climbing higher to serve more people so they can come along and want to do the same thing."
The bags the group handed out to the residents contained small treats including apples, oranges, peppermints, granola bars and chocolate.