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Eastern Kentucky University’s Emma Reister volunteers at Kenwood Health and Rehabilitation Center in Richmond where residents are considered a vulnerable population.  

“I have always had a passion for helping others,” Reister said. Social distancing rules and the vulnerable population at the 93-bed rehabilitation and skilled nursing facility means no visitors. Reister wanted to do something to bring some cheer to residents.

She sent one message.

“With one message to the EKU Greek Life Community, I received enough money to buy coloring books and word puzzles that contained Bible verses or encouraging messages along with other supplies for the Kenwood residents,” she said.

A rising senior in Fall 2020, Reister is a Biomedical Science major with a Pre-Dental focus and is an EKU Honors Program student. She is a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority and the Panhellenic President. As president, she oversees all seven Panhellenic chapters on campus and communicates with three other on-campus councils (Interfraternity Council, National Panhellenic Council, and the Multicultural Greek Council).

“Most of my family are educators, so I have grown up witnessing them going above and beyond to help those in need and ensuring I knew the importance of giving back to the community,” she said. “While my parents never expected praise or anything in return, they have been the major force behind my passion for helping those in need.”

Reister said she has been given gifts and talents so she can use them to help others, which is why she felt the need to try and do something extra for the Kenwood residents. “Making a difference does not have to be a major event, it can be making one person smile or feel loved which triggers a ripple effect. We are all human beings and we are here to pick up others that need help because we would like someone to care for us if we ever needed it.”

Each sorority and fraternity on campus has a philanthropy that they devote their time to in order to help others in the best way possible. But Reister said she sees the largest impact when they all come together to support each other and their diverse philanthropies.

“We push each other to be better and to do more because we know we are able to achieve more,” she said.

Reister said she is sad that her time at EKU is almost over, but that she enjoyed every second of her last three years here. 

“Nationally, Greek Life is portrayed negatively, but at EKU I have never felt anything but love and selflessness from these people. We strive to be better and uplift those around us. I love how welcoming the campus, staff, and students are. It feels like a family,” said Reister.