Kappa Alpha Psi alumni participate in “community” service by donating Thanksgiving baskets

GARY – Jennifer Cease is grateful to the Kappa Alpha Psi Gary Alumni Chapter for providing her with a Thanksgiving basket containing everything needed to prepare a nutritious meal for the upcoming holiday season.

“The Kappas always give back to the community. I patronize their events and support the things they do,” said Cease, a Gary resident. “The giveaway makes Thanksgiving better because I don’t have to try to scrape together money to spend on holiday food.”

Cease was one of nearly 100 families who received a Kappa Alpha Psi Thanksgiving basket of groceries from Fresh County Market in Gary. Some items in the basket were a 10-pound turkey, a dozen eggs and an 8-pound sack of potatoes.

Alumni members gathered at Catholic charities Saturday morning in the Pete Abel State Farm garage to distribute Thanksgiving baskets sponsored by the Henry Bennett Foundation. The families also received a gift bag provided by Bombas Socks containing socks, a t-shirt and men’s briefs.

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The Gary Alumni Chapter has partnered with organizations such as Catholic Charities and the Catholic Youth Organization to provide Thanksgiving meals to families. This event has been an annual tradition for over 30 years, said Andre Clay.

“It’s a blessing that we can provide families with a meal,” said Clay, a member of Kappa Alpha Psi for 47 years. “Our goal is to serve the community.”



Kappa Alpha Psi Graduates

Linda Gunn, left, said the Kappa Alpha Psi Gary Alumni Chapter’s Thanksgiving basket giveaway has been a family affair for 25 years. She is pictured with Edmond Gunn and Megan Gunn.


Grace Opinker



Linda Gunn said serving the community is important because people are in need, whether they are employed or unemployed. It’s the little things that make a big difference, she said.

“These Kappa brothers do a wonderful job of identifying who needs help and really serve as role models,” said Gunn, the wife of an alum. “It’s always good to see black men taking charge and for others to see the possibilities.”

Kappa Alpha Psi is a black Greek fraternity founded on January 5, 1911 on the Indiana University campus in Bloomington, Percy E. Jones said. Kappa was needed when it was founded because black students didn’t have social services 111 years ago, Jones said. There are now over 150,000 members worldwide.

The Gary Alumni Chapter has served the Northwest Indiana community since July 30, 1945 and currently has 125 members. Trent A. McCain said the Thanksgiving event was one of the highlights of the year for the organization.



Kappa Alpha Psi Alumni Members

Members of the Kappa Alpha Psi alumni chapter had a routine process of loading Thanksgiving baskets and then delivering them to families in a drive-through method outside of the Pete Abel State Farm garage in Gary.


Grace Opinker



“One of Kappa Alpha Psi Corporation’s goals is to provide services in the public interest,” said McCain, Deputy Mayor of Gary. “We feel good about it every year. It’s happy families who get Thanksgiving dinner and the brothers come together to do something good for the community.”

The Gary chapter is the only Kappa Alpha Psi alumni chapter in Northwest Indiana, said McCain, who has been a member since 2020. He said there’s always community involvement and opportunities to work with people through Kappa League.

The Kappa League is a mentoring program for boys between grades 7 through 12. Members attend monthly meetings and engage in community activities. James Dillon Jr., 13, said one of his favorite things about the mentorship program is helping the community grow while raising awareness.

“We’re trying to lead by example,” McCain said. “One of our brothers once said, ‘Service is the price we pay for the space we occupy.'”

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