Forever Young: For The Kids, For The Cure, For THON

Forever Young: For The Kids, For The Cure, For THON

Going Greek and giving back.
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More often than not, the Greek community is criticized and perceived in a negative light, especially by those who are not a part of it. We have reached a day in our age where Greek life is living under a microscope. Our society is under the misassumption that the action of one is a clear depiction of us all. However, the positive effects that Greeks have on their communities are simply overlooked.

Penn State’s Carly Racanelli is an example of a member of the Greek community who is positively impacting our society as whole, every single day. Not only does she have her own business in which the proceeds are donated to charity, but she also has decided for the month of November to donate 50% of her proceeds to Penn State's THON. A junior at Penn State, Carly is a public relations major with a minor in sociology, as well as a member of Kappa Alpha Theta fraternity. Four years ago Carly and the Racanelli family lost a brother and a son, Michael Racanelli. In an effort to honor his memory, The Michael Racanelli Forever Young Foundation was created.

In an interview with Carly, she stated the goals of the foundation were to “spread his [Michael’s] peace.” Carly and the Racanelli family have worked closely with the foundation to have a lacrosse scholarship in Michael’s name, as well as sponsoring mission trips, and contributing to organizations that have positive impacts on society.

Carly says one of her favorite organizations to donate to is Mission Be, a program that teaches mindfulness to school children. The foundation also helps to feed hundreds of people during the holiday season, specifically at their hospitality center, a center that even has a garden designated for people to gather and reflect.

When I asked Carly, “Why 'Forever Young'?”, she stated that “forever young” is the way that her, her family, and friends will always remember Michael. “He lived his life to the fullest and had such a genuine and pure soul,” Carly said in our interview. This past summer, both Carly and her sister came up with the idea to make bracelets to sell in which part of the proceeds would be donated to The Michael Racanelli Forever Young Foundation. When asked why the bracelets, she said, “I wanted to get creative and find a way to continue to spread his peace and get involved in something bigger than myself,” as well as wanting to give a reminder stay imaginative and free… essentially, forever young.

Carly, a huge advocate for THON, decided once both canning weekends had been canceled, that she wanted to take action to do something to help raise money towards THON’s total. “After experiencing THON my freshman year at PSU, it was always something that I was extremely impressed by and proud of. Anyone that attends THON knows what I’m talking about because it is such a moving and emotional experience that has an amazing cause.” For the month of November, Forever Young Bracelets and The Michael Racanelli Forever Young Foundation are teaming up to raise money for THON. 50% of each bracelet sold will be donated to THON in hopes that we can be one dollar and one step closer to a cure.

Greek life usually does not get the benefit of the doubt. We as a Greek community are often perceived as a negative addition to society and our philanthropic efforts somehow manage to get constantly overlooked. Carly Racanelli is genuinely a good example of what it means to go Greek and is helping to take back what it means to be Greek.

For more information or any questions about where and how to buy a bracelet to help to donate to THON:

Instagram: @foreveryoungbracelets

Email: foreveryoungbracelets@gmail.com

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14 Fraternity Guy Gifts Ideas, Since He Already Has Enough Beer

Frat boys are a species of their own and here are some exciting gifts they will be ecstatic to receive!

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What more do frat boys love than alcohol, partying, and just acting stupid? Here are some gifts that help fulfill all of those needs for the frat boy in your life!

1. Beer holster belt

Whats better than one beer? Six beers! This fashionable camouflage accessory can be used for tailgates, beach days, formals and everything in between.

Price: $8.49 (one pack), $14.99 (two pack)

2. Phone juul holder 

You know those cardholders everyone sticks on the back of their phones? Well, now a Juul holder for your phone is on the market! This will save your favorite frat boy from ever again losing his Juul!

Price: $10.98

3. Animal house poster 

This Animal House poster is a classic staple for any frat boy. This poster will compliment any frat house decor or lack thereof.

Price: $1.95

4. The American Fraternity book

Does the frat boy in your life need a good read for Thanksgiving or winter break? Look no farther, this will certainly keep his attention and give him a history lesson on American fraternity heritage and tradition.

Price: $28.46

5. Beer pong socks 

These snazzy socks featuring beer pong will be loved by any frat boy. As for the way to any frat boy's heart may, in fact, be beer pong.

Price: $12.00

6. Condom case

This condom carrying case will not only protect condoms from damage but also make frat boys more inclined to practice safe sex, which is a win-win situation!

Price: $9.99

7. Frat house candle

Ahhh yes, who does not like the smell of stale beer in a dark, musty frat house basement? Frat boys can make their apartment or bedroom back home smell like their favorite place with the help of this candle.

Price: $16.99

8. "Frat" sticker

Frat boys always need to make sure everyone around them knows just how "fratty" they are. This versatile stick can go on a laptop, car, water bottle, or practically anywhere their little hearts desire.

Price: $6.50

9. Natty Light t-shirt 

Even I will admit that this shirt is pretty cool. The frat boy in your life will wear this shirt at every possible moment, it is just that cool!

Price: $38.76-$41.11

10. Natty light fanny pack 

This fanny pack can absolutely be rocked by any frat boy. The built-in koozie adds a nice touch.

Price: $21.85

11. Bud Light Neon Beer Sign 

A neon beer sign will be the perfect addition to any frat boys bedroom.

Price: $79.99

12. Beer Opener

Although most frat boys' go to beers come in cans, this bottle opener will be useful for those special occasions when they buy nicer bottled beers.

Price: $7.99

13. Frat House Dr. Sign

Price: $13.99

Forget stealing random street signs, with this gift frat boys no longer have to do so.

14. Beer Lights 

Lights are an essential for any party and these will surely light up even the lamest parties.

Price: $17.19

Please note that prices are accurate and items in stock as of the time of publication. As an Amazon Associate, Odyssey may earn a portion of qualifying sales.

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Being Busy Is A Blessing

Are you feeling thankful for your stress today?

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"Steady as a clock, busy as a bee, cheerful as a cricket." – Martha Washington

In American society, we pride ourselves on our busyness. How many projects we have to juggle at work, how many activities and hobbies we're involved in, how many events we have to prepare for. We love being busy.

Yet, seldom do we take a step back and realize how lucky we are to be so busy.

We love to boast, brag, and compare scars on how much stress we're under. Competitions over who got the least amount of sleep, who has the most deadlines, or who is involved in the most organizations. We complain about how exhausted we are, we sneer at those who have less on their plate than us, and we can't help but second-guess ourselves when we have a day free of any responsibilities.

Have you ever thought about how fortunate you are to be so busy? Think of all the stressors in your life currently – maybe it's school, work, family, romantic relationships. Think of what it is that is taking up so much of your time to make you so busy. In my case, that would be school. Final exams, deadlines, papers, and group projects are nearly swallowing me whole. I seldom talk about much else with my peers.

But, taking a step back from all the stress, I realize that I am so lucky to be so busy. I'm getting an education – something not everyone can say for themselves. I have a roof over my head, a bed to lie in, clothes to keep me warm, and food to nourish my body. On top of all my essentials being more than taken care of, I have the privilege of going to class every day and working towards a degree. How lucky I am to be stressed and busy.

This is not meant to make you feel guilty for the blessings in your life, nor to minimize your stress and anxiety. Your stress is still perfectly valid, especially as a college student. But, it can be rewarding and stress alleviating to take a minute and observe what it is you are stressed over. Grades, projects at work, spats with co-workers or friends, or missing deadlines are all temporary stressors. Those things will pass. Think of the relief you feel when you finally finish that one project. Or the free time that comes as a result of meeting that one deadline. Or even how happy and accomplished you may feel when you have so many healthy priorities filling your life.

Being busy is a blessing. It's not always fulfilling, and it's not always free of stress. But it is a privilege to have a life full of things to do and people to see.

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