Oxford and Miami University Encourage Philanthropy in the Community

By Erin Glynn

As a small, college town, Oxford is a hub of charitable giving.

People in Oxford support three main categories of charitable organizations: hospitals and medical research, education and poverty aid – and there is some overlap among the three, according to the donation amounts to Butler County United Way and charities chosen by Miami University Greek organizations.

Support consists of fundraising and volunteer work from Miami University’s Greek organizations and other student groups, religious groups in town and on campus and donations from university faculty.

The largest category of charitable support from local organizations helps hospitals and medical research. According to the Cliff Alexander Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, 16 fraternities and nine sororities have selected these types of foundations as their main philanthropic cause. Most of the foundations specifically aid pediatric health issues.

This is far and away the most popular cause for Greek philanthropy, and most Greek organizations have a specific foundation they raise money for year after year. The Cliff Alexander office designated Delta Delta Delta, the top fundraising chapter at Miami for 2019. Delta Delta Delta has supported St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, the closest location of which can be found in Columbus, since 1999.

The chapter hosted an event called “Sincerely Yours,” in which each member addressed at least 50 letters explaining the mission of St. Jude’s to friends and family on March 17. At the event, a spokeswoman from the hospital showed a video of St. Jude’s patients.

“It was nice to see the personal impact our fundraising can have,” Sophomore Delta Delta Delta member Emily Dattilo said.

As one might expect from a college town, there is also a great deal of education-related giving in Oxford. Miami University is the largest benefactor, but younger students also receive support. St. Mary Church and its affiliated campus ministry are a part of a national, weekly “Sponsor-a-Child” backpack program. The St. Mary branch serves 200 children in the Talawanda school district, providing them with healthy, non-perishable food to take home each Friday, according to St. Mary’s Business Manager Pamela Burk.

The university, which is the largest employer in Oxford, offers both the Butler County and Cincinnati branches of United Way and the Community Shares of Greater Cincinnati as charitable options for automatic payroll deductions. Employees receive an email with a link to the pledging system once a year.