Kappa Sigma fraternity at New Mexico State University is trying to help a New Mexico soldier in need.
Sgt. Erik Schei of Rio Rancho suffered a brain injury in 2005 after an Iraqi sniper shot him in the head. His injuries have confined Schei to a wheelchair.
After being featured in a television advertisement, Schei was given $2,200 in donations raised by Rio Rancho residents to make his home more wheelchair-accessible. The money was placed with a social service agency where businesses could make additional tax-deductible donations of goods and services to Schei.
But when Schei's family tried to claim the money, they learned the agency had closed, leaving the soldier without any of the money raised for him.
Kappa Sigma is trying to replace those funds. It is seeking contributions from businesses, NMSU and fraternity alumni and families of fraternity members to cover the lost donations.
"We are close to raising the full amount of the money lost and as soon as we can, we will cut a check to cover their lost expenses," said David Williams, fraternity president.
The fraternity has also helped raise money for the Fisher House Foundation, which donates "comfort homes" for wounded veterans that are built on the grounds of major military and Veterans Affairs medical centers. The homes enable family members to be close to a loved one during hospitalization for an unexpected illness or disease, injury and rehabilitation.
Kappa Sigma also helps area charities, such as the American Red Cross and the Do-a Ana County chapter of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill. They will help the National Alliance of the Mentally Ill with its eighth annual "Cow Drop" raffle in November, and the fraternity also plans to sponsor a mud volleyball tournament in October.
"Holidays, birthdays & anniversaries have been celebrated with tears and smiles with people who truly understand what the other person is experiencing."
- Kamryn Jaroszewski