Mission Thanksgiving


Alpha Phi Omega (APO) is a national service fraternity, which provides college students opportunities to perform community service, develop friendships, and serve. McMurry University started their partnership with APO as an Omicron Delta chapter in 1964. By performing numerous service projects around the Abilene area, McMurry’s APO chapter has lived up to its renowned reputation.      

Mission Thanksgiving occurs every year during the week before Thanksgiving. Arrow Ford hosts this event to benefit Love & Care Ministries. During Mission Thanksgiving week, the Abilene community is encouraged to donate gently used, non-personal items, to help the homeless and poor of Abilene.

McMurry’s APO chapter set collection boxes inside each of the residence halls, as well as, the host tables inside the campus center to help collect students’ donations. “McMurry’s psychology club originally started collecting donations for this event, then passed it down to McMurry APO around five years ago,” said Mr. James Greer, who is the director of career development, coordinator for counseling, and an advisor for McMurry’s APO chapter.

The donations range from food and basic supplies; all of what is collected is distributed to the homeless and the poor throughout the coming year. On Friday, December 6, McMurry’s APO chapter will take all the donation boxes to Arrow Ford to be donated. McMurry’s APO chapter are also accessible to locals seeking for help and services to give back to their community.

 Carly Kantrowitz, a junior majoring in exercise science and human performance, and the president of McMurry APO, highlighted her favorite aspects regarding APO. “Besides Mission Thanksgiving, APO also does a lot of other community service projects on and off campus, such as clearing recycling bags weekly on campus and doing highway pickups biannually,” said Kantrowitz. McMurry’s APO chapter has adopted two miles of Oldham Ln highway in order to keep Abilene beautiful, as well as, help the environment. “What little we can pick up makes big differences,” commented Kantrowitz.

 Josie Houk, a sophomore majoring in psychology and current service chair for APO, explained why students love to get involved in APO, “We love to help out the community in many ways, whether donating clothes and food items to people who need them, or just providing volunteer service.” During the service, students also help themselves on developing their communication and leadership skills while making friends with others who have similar passions as themselves. 

Local community members and newspapers have shown appreciation for McMurry’s APO chapter, and have often times asked for their community service. If you are willing to serve humanity, please consider joining APO.