Pi Kappa Phi owns and operates a national philanthropy called “Push America.” Push is a non-profit organization that was founded by members of Pi Kappa Phi in 1977. It is the exclusive service learning project of the fraternity, aiming to serve people with disabilities and instill lifelong service in all members of Pi Kappa Phi. The organization has become synonymous with fundraising, service and awareness for people with any type or degree of disability.
Major programs include nationally recognized cycling events, empathy and awareness training sessions and construction projects that work to promote a greater understanding of people with disabilities. Members of Pi Kappa Phi have raised nearly $10 million dollars in support of the projects and programs of Push America as well as donated thousands of man hours to renovate facilities that serve people with disabilities across the country. Push America’s is committed to its mission of “building leaders of tomorrow by serving people with disabilities today.”
Push America’s integrity to its mission is exemplified in every program. Push America programs were created to educate and provide a quality hands-on service experience for members of Pi Kappa Phi, while enhancing the lives of people with disabilities. Push America has the future in mind as many members of Pi Kappa Phi go on to be leaders in our communities, states, and country. Pi Kappa Phi members are serving on city disability committees, disability task forces within their companies, many undergraduates are changing their majors to special education, and others are more socially aware of disability issues.
Push America hosts three annual Summer events:
Build America is a six week team event traveling the country promoting accessible recreation for people with disabilities. From the construction of accessible amenities at camps to wilderness adventures with athletes with disabilities, the Build America team is dedicated to proving true human ability. At the core of Build America is the construction of accessible environments and camps serving the disability community. In six weeks, the team builds accessible fishing piers, nature trails, climbing walls and many other amenities providing opportunities for campers to experience everything summer camp has to offer. Throughout the summer, the team logs over 4,000 man hours, save camps and communities $50,000 in labor costs, over $30,000 in materials expenses and impact the lives of thousands of people with disabilities. The best experience on this journey is in the evenings when team members gather with campers for dinner and other camp activities. This is the time team members say is most rewarding. They get to spend quality time with the very people who are benefiting from their hard work. These are the times that create the special memories of camps and lifelong friends. There is no experience like Build America and being able to leave a tangible product after departing a camp or community sets this event apart from all other events.
Gear Up Florida is a 800-mile cycling event kicks off on the shores of Miami, travels through the Florida orange fields, reaches the Gulf coast, passes through Orlando, comes back to the Atlantic coast and culminates at the State Capitol in Tallahassee. The team spreads a message of acceptance and understanding to communities in Florida through newspapers, radio and television, civic groups and community leaders, reaching millions of people annually.
Journey of Hope is a cross-country bicycle trek beginning in San Francisco (North), Los Angeles (South) and Seattle (TransAmerica) and ending together with all teams in Washington, D.C. (view route map here). The event raises funds and awareness for people with disabilities. Simply put, the Journey of Hope is a ride with a purpose. Make no mistake; this is not a simple ride. Journey of Hope is about many things. It is about challenging the norm. It is about serving our communities. It is about finding out more about ourselves than we ever imagined. It is about having a dream. It is about a mission. It is about hope. The true impact of the Journey of Hope can be felt through its programming across the nation. After riding an average of 75 miles a day, you won't find team members napping preparing for the next day's ride. They will be dancing at a friendship visit with a local group that supports people with disabilities, participating in a game of wheelchair basketball, performing puppet shows to educate children on the abilities of people with disabilities, and learning life lessons that will impact them for the rest of their lives.
Brothers who participate in these events become members of the Pi Alpha Society as recognition for their dedication to Push America and to serving people with disabilities.
Theta Psi Pi Alphas
Jeff Flagg - Build America - 2010
John McCall - Journey of Hope - 2010
TJ Rogers - Journey of Hope - 2010
Alex Dunner - Journey of Hope - 2011
Victor Santiago - Journey of Hope - 2011,2012
Matt Lucasiewicz - Build America - 2012
Mark Leonardo - Journey of Hope - 2012
Tyler Swob - Journey of Hope - 2012
Jeremiah Thompson - Journey of Hope - 2012
Summer Event Blogs
Brother Matt Lucasiewicz's Building America.