Incoming members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., converse with elder Brother Al Giles after honoring him with their service on Brother’s Keeper Day.
Prospective Alpha Phi Alpha Brothers installing cement tree rings and red mulch at the Fort Lauderdale home of Brother Al Giles.
By Yvette M. Giles, Ed.D.
Twenty-six young men arrived at the home of Fort Lauderdale resident Alphonso “Al” Giles early on a Saturday morning, while most people were still sleeping. The college students and young professionals, ages 22 to 40, were incoming members of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the nation’s first Black, inter-collegiate Greek-lettered fraternity.
Their mission on April 18th was to honor and serve an elder Alpha Phi Alpha brother in observance of the fraternity’s A. Charles Haston Brother’s Keeper National Program. The program aims to improve the quality of life for Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., brothers, their spouses, and widows who are retired, elderly, have disabilities, or are ailing. Giles, 93, felt honored to receive much-needed services.
Giles, a founding member of Fort Lauderdale’s Zeta Alpha Lambda chapter and retired educator, provided the young servant leaders with a list of outdoor activities to complete within three hours. The men worked in teams, installing cement tree rings and scattering red mulch around clusters of palm trees and organizing a large lawn storage area, among other strenuous tasks. Robert McGriff, handyman for the Giles family, assisted with these projects.
With their outdoor work finished, the men enjoyed lunch with Brother Giles, Brother Attorney Raleigh Rawls, and Brother Ricky Stuart, who, along with Brother Maurice Hurry, South Area Director, supervised the day’s Brother’s Keeper activities. During lunch, the prospective Alphas asked intriguing questions of the elder brothers and shared why they aspired to become “Alpha men.”
“I look forward to each of these Brothers being assets to their respective chapters, campuses, communities and our dear Fraternity as a whole,” said Matthew Bradford, District Director for the Florida Federation of Alpha Chapters. “Giving back to those who have paved the way for all of us is a great way to start their Alpha journey.”