GAMMA PROVINCE, Central-Southeast Ohio, BETH WING – Editor

GAMMA PROVINCE, Central-Southeast Ohio, BETH WING – Editor

Alpha Tau, Athens is involved in helping many charitable organizations. A couple of our favorites are: My Sister’s Place where women and their children can find refuge from domestic violence. They provide the community with a list of their needs and we help by gathering supplies for them from our chapter members. Athens County Children’s Service’s is another ; this year we provided winter coats for the children and as we do every year provide Christmas presents. Athens County visiting nurses association is an organization where we supply fans in the summer for some of the clients who need them. Mu Beta, Lancaster has been very supportive of our local food pantry this year.  We find out what is really needed each month.  It may be specific food items or personal care items.  We buy those items then each month and donate them to the food pantry.  At Thanksgiving and Christmas we buy the food pantry a gift card for a local grocery store.  The workers at the food pantry can then buy what is needed for the holiday season.  The food pantry seems to experience more and more requests each month.  We are very pleased that we can support the food pantry and many hungry people in our community. Psi, Logan has many groups that we support through our Ways and Means and Service work. Last year we gave funds to Fairhope Hospice, Logan Fireworks Fund, Relay for Life, Chakers Theater Restoration, Hocking County Agricultural (to sponsor ribbons for 4-H projects), The Washboard Festival, the Veteran’s Hospital in Chillicothe, Dollars for Lights (to support the Christmas lights in town), families for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and the Community Thanksgiving Dinner. As you can see, we try to give to things in our community that need the money. Giving money to families at Christmas and Thanksgiving are probably the most satisfying. The families receiving the food and presents are always so very grateful, and we have a group of girls that really like to shop! Another project that we get involved not only with money, but also with service hours is the Fairhope Hospice Run and Walk. Many of us not only help, but also participate in the run or walk. Psi Chapter is very pleased that we can help so many in our community! Xi Xi, Columbus focuses on assisting women and children in central Ohio. This year, the chapter will concentrate on donations for GRIN (Gahanna Residents in Need). GRIN is a community wide, faith based organization committed to helping the residents of the Gahanna-Jefferson school district in a time of need. The website quotes Proverbs 14:31: “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” Gahanna is a suburb of Columbus, Ohio.

 

Contributing Editors: Pat Meyer, Alpha Tau; Beth Wing, Mu Beta; Lynne Risch, Psi; and Deb Juracich, Xi Xi

Holidays and Membership Are Beautiful Things

BY DONNA COLLINS

At the writing of this article it’s Memorial Day – a Federal holiday established to remember men and women who died while serving in the Armed Forces. The day was originally called Decoration Day — after the American Civil War in 1868, when the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans founded in Decatur, Illinois, established it as a time for the nation to decorate the graves of the Union war dead with flowers.

For many — Memorial Day has an expanded definition because it gives us pause to remember and also pay tribute to those who have died – mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and others who have been so important in our lives. We decorate their graves too, right beside soldiers and other military personnel.

When I visited my parents gravesite on Friday it occurred to me (as I saw hundreds of flags throughout the cemetery) that Memorial Day is right in the middle of Mothers’ and Fathers’ Days. I was visiting their graves because I could – not because of a holiday. My parents weren’t in service to the country – but they sure were in service to our family.

Father’s Day is a just few weeks away, on the third Sunday in June. Often times as a child I would have a teacher, every once in a while, who would make sure during the last week of school before we left for summer break that she would provide class time to make cards and small gifts (a paper plate with handprints, a construction paper silhouette, or wallpaper patterned tie) for our Dads. The Dads were usually left out of special kid made gifts due to the end of the school year arriving in late May or early June.

So today, I wonder how many of us think about the people just outside the parameters of our circle. How many of us are like that special teacher who reaches beyond the typical to make sure special things happen? Sigma Phi Gamma is one of these special things that are just out of reach for so many women in our lives – not because they aren’t welcome, but because we don’t invite them in. Think about how much richer and more beautiful our sorority would be if we reached out and invited people in … all the time … not just during a special holiday or membership campaign.

Let’s do our best to invite the women in our lives to join Sigma Phi Gamma … because we are special, because we know how much better our lives are because of our Founders.