COVID-19 Updates

COVID-19 Updates

The Ability Experience is committed to supporting our members, chapters, volunteers, and partner organizations during the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Our staff continues to focus on incorporating safe and healthy practices to ensure the long-term success of our fraternity and those we serve. As this situation is constantly evolving, we will continue to provide updates and recommendations through this page.

Updates as of November 9

Chapter Service

For many people with disabilities, a sense of isolation can already be a part of daily life. COVID-19 has only exacerbated their sense of social isolation. Many organizations that serve the community have either been forced to cut staff or are still trying to navigate how they can serve their clients while keeping everyone safe.

Ability Camps being planned for the Spring. We have begun having conversations with some of our camp partners to determine the feasibility of hosting socially distant Ability Camps this Spring. More information will be provided as details are ironed out with these camp partners. If your chapter is interested is attending an Ability Camp, please contact your Regional Director.

For chapters that have local volunteer relationships, we encourage you to work with your organizations to identify opportunities to continue to serve. Should the organization not already have plans for safe social interaction, we encourage you to plan virtual friendship visits. See our Best Practices Guide for sample virtual friendship visit resources for ideas and direction. If you need guidance or need to leverage Ability Experience’s technological platforms to host virtual events, contact your regional director.

For chapters without local volunteer relationships, we are offering recurring virtual friendship visits with our partner organizations throughout the fall. All students and alumni are encouraged to participate in our virtual bingo, karaoke, campfires and dance parties. Visit our friendship visits page to find upcoming events and reserve a spot for your chapter.

Chapter Fundraising

While many chapters typically host in-person fundraising events each year, there continue to be many restrictions and uncertainty due to COVID-19 that make it more difficult than ever to host a traditional fundraiser. We continue to encourage all chapters to avoid planning large fundraising events especially those with upfront costs that would result in a loss of funds should the event be cancelled.

TAKING YOUR FUNDRAISING VIRTUAL

  • In some cases, traditional in-person fundraising events like Bike-a-thons, War of the Roses, Ability Weeks can be shifted to a virtual format with the right planning. Work with your Regional Director to stay up to date on how chapters across the country are adapting this semester.
  • Peer-to-peer is often the most low-effort, high-impact form of fundraising when enough chapter members are willing to participate in email / social media campaigns or phone-a-thons. See our Virtual Peer-to-Peer Fundraising resource for samples and ideas.
  • Get your chapter signed up for one of our national fundraising events this fall…

BeardsGiving

      • Join other Pi Kappa Phi students and alumni in this fun campaign to support our various partners serving people with disabilities.
      • Individuals have the opportunity to receive cool swag and chapters have the chance to present a grant to a local disability organization.
      • Beards are not required!

Gaming For Inclusion

      • Gaming tournaments that pair members with our partners in the disability community. National tournaments take place at least once per month, but your chapter can also leverage our platforms to host your own.
      • Registration for each tournament counts toward chapter fundraising and registrants also have the option to fundraise.

Founders Day 5k

      • Celebrate Pi Kappa Phi Founders Day differently this year by joining us for this virtual 5k. Simply register and select your chapter’s team.
      • Getting chapter members, family, friends or other campus organizations to sign up can be an easy way to raise funds on your chapter’s behalf with little planning required.

Programs

IN-PERSON CHALLENGE EVENTS IN PLANNING STAGE FOR 2021; VIRTUAL EVENTS ALSO AVAILABLE.

To help celebrate Pi Kappa Phi’s 116th Anniversary, we are holding a Founders Day 5k to continue to rally support and show love to our friends with disabilities. Sign up today!

Early conversations are occurring and preparations are being made for in-person events in 2021. Races are currently planned in Jacksonville, FL (March), Denver, CO (May) and Washington, DC (October). Check out Ability Experience Challenges page for the most up-to-date race information.

JOURNEY OF HOPE AND GEAR UP FLORIDA RETURN 2021.

Applications for are now open for Gear Up Florida and Journey of Hope. Crew positions are also available and can be used for internship credit. To see more details or recommend a brother, visit our interest page or apply now.

Our staff is also hosting virtual Team Event Interest presentations for any chapter that wants to learn more about the programs and what opportunities they offer. These 20-minute presentations give an overview on the experiences and answer any questions your chapter may have. Schedule yours here or contact your Regional Director.

BUILD AMERICA CANCELLED

Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19 and the uncertainty it continues to create on college campuses, The Ability Experience has had to make significant budget cuts for the new fiscal year, including the cancellation of Build America. These difficult budget decisions were made in order to ensure the viability of our mission going forward and to maximize opportunities for shared experiences with reduced resources.