DO YOU WANT MORE FRIENDS? DO YOU WANT TO HELP IN YOUR COMMUNITY? by INTERNATIONAL HISTORIAN, LINDA BULLINGTON

I was employed as a UPS driver. Female UPS drivers are a minority, most drivers are male. All UPS drivers work long hours. Being a single parent took most of the rest of my time. As my daughter grew, she needed me less. I wanted to find a way to make friends outside of work and I was also interested in doing some service in my community. A customer on my route invited me to a Sigma Phi Gamma social, it turned out to be just what I was looking for – friends and service to my community combined.

Together we are one in Friendship, Service, and Community – Sigma Phi Gamma! That’s the slogan of our International President, Donna Collins.

Every year since joining SPG I’ve made friends with Sisters around the country and some in Canada too. Those friendships extend beyond sorority. I have visited Sisters who live in other areas, Sisters have come to visit me. I play Words with Friends, and keep in touch with Sisters on Facebook, we chat on the phone and go places together. Some of us may only get together once a year for the International Convention but as friends we stay connected throughout the year. I’m glad to have such close friends.

Service and community go hand-in-hand. Some projects are supported by donations, others are supported by hands-on help. Working with my Sisters to help our communities is good for the communities and leaves me with a good feeling! Sigma Phi Gamma Sisters have tried to exemplify Donna’s slogan for almost 100 years! I’m glad I joined SPG! Do you want more friends? Do you want to help in your community? Then join Sigma Phi Gamma you’ll be glad you did!

Linda Bullington
International Historian

CALLING ALL GARDENERS by WENDIE MCKNELLY, INTERNATIONAL COUNSELOR

Calling all Gardeners

As The Growing Season Ends, Did You Know . . .
1.     You can dig up your geraniums, shake off the dirt, and hang them upside down in a cool (not freezing) location. Next spring, pop them back in the ground, and within a week, you’ll have gorgeous big geraniums growing again!
2.     You can plant your spring seeds late in the fall, right after the first killing frost.  The seeds will sleep until the spring sun wakes them up! It gives your spring garden a head start.
3.     You can propagate your beautiful coleus plants easily to create new starter plants for spring. Snip the ends of your plants, leaving only a couple top leaves. Use a razor blade to slightly graze the lower stem. Dip the stem in rooting hormone.  Now you can keep the cutting in a glass of water for about 5 days until you see roots, or you can just plant them in a 50/50 mix of peat moss and high quality potting soil. Keep it moist, but not wet. Again, you’ll save a ton on new plants, and you’ll have a head start on your spring garden.
4.     Don’t give up on your tomatoes plants. Propagate your plants for next spring!   Use the same method as with the coleus. They root very easily, and by spring, you’ll have fresh plants with your favorite varieties of tomatoes!
What are your late fall secrets to gardening?

Wendie McKnelly

THE MONTH FOR THANKFULNESS by INTERNATIONAL EDITOR, LINDY HEATH

November is the month of Thanksgiving and we ALL seem to jump on the bandwagon to virtually list what we are thankful for, some people do it day by day for the month, some play a game using the word Thanksgiving, and others just randomly comment what they think is important.
For me, I wake up each morning and thank God that I woke up! But I guess I am more in the category that tends to remember what I am thankful for as things happen. This past week was one of those weeks that makes you or breaks you. It seemed that just about anything that could go wrong or happen-did. I won’t go into all the details but it made me so thankful for my sorority Sisters who never fail me, no matter how much I seem to screw up or when I ask them to go that extra mile, without hesitation they step up to the plate. It would have been easy for any one of them to roll their eyes in pity or beg off from helping out by coming up with an excuse, but that’s not what our Sisterhood is all about. It is about being there for each other, celebrating those special times in our lives such as birthday’s and anniversary’s, adding a new Sister to our Chapters, seeing the excitement on the faces of Sister’s establishing a new Chapter or looking out over a sea of women, watching with pride, as their new International Officers pledge themselves to do the best job they can in their duties for their Sisters.
It is also about being there in those times when things aren’t so wonderful. The late night phone calls, the emails and text messages, the kind words of encouragement and support even as they know you made a mistake they are STILL there. They will still stand with you as a Sister because that’s who we are, Sisters.
As a new member on International Council I can attest to both situations. I’d like all of you Sisters out there if you are concerned about running for an International Office because you don’t think you are ‘good enough’ or might not ‘know enough’ or that you ‘might make a mistake’, know this, RUN FOR AN INTERNATIONAL OFFICE! Your Sisters will be there for you, they will teach you, encourage you, and stand by you. This is an experience of a lifetime and it will mean the world to you. But you will never know unless you take that chance. Be THANKFUL today, thankful you make the decision to do the best for yourself and your Sisters, fill out that application for an International Office. I am THANKFUL I did.

ENCOURAGE by SHARON HILTON, CHAIRWOMAN FOR THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE

en·cour·age
verb: To give support, confidence, or hope to someone.

synonyms: hearten, cheer, buoy up, uplift, inspire,
motivate, spur on, stir, stir up, fire up, stimulate,
invigorate, vitalize, revitalize, embolden,
fortify, rally.

Have you ever known someone who believed in you? Someone who would say just the right words of encouragement and praise that made you realize you had the right skills and personality to do it, whatever “it” was.

This is a friendly Nominating Committee reminder to reciprocate and encourage a special sister who you believe in.
This encouragement could insure that the brightest and most skilled member gain the confidence needed to advance as candidate for International Office. Your thoughtful words of endorsement can inspire and empower someone to envision a higher personal goal of becoming an International Officer. Now is the time to encourage that bright rising talented sister. The deadline to submit Candidate for International Officer forms to Donna Collins is December 31.

Thank you for working with the Nominating Committee.
With love in Sigma Phi Gamma,
Sharon

encourage-one-another

IF NOT NOW, WHEN? IF NOT YOU, WHO? by INTERNATIONAL PRESIDENT DONNA COLLINS

As I sat watching the Cleveland Indians and Chicago Cubs, I heard in the background the chanting, cheering, and hopes for a win. That’s how many of us feel about Sigma Phi Gamma – only we’re all on the same team. Don’t be confused – I wasn’t at the game in-person, but rather watching and listening from the comfort of our family room and my favorite seat (which did not cost $3,500 – the price many paid to be at the game in person).
In our sorority we need coaches and players. We need fans and hot dog vendors. We also need the gal who sells beer and reminds us of our love of the game. So, what are you waiting for!?! Think about the role that you play (or the ones you don’t play). Imagine your role is umpire – you are working to ensure a fair game (bylaws, standing rules, and constitution) is played and enjoyed by all. If this sounds like fun you should be running for Vice President. How about the coach – orchestrating the line-up, delegating responsibilities, and bringing out the best in your team. I’m pretty sure you’d be pretty good at this – so I’m counting on you to run for Chapter or Province President.
Now, I know that some of you get weirded out by the words President, Vice President … but how about treasurer, editor, secretary, ways and means? These are key roles but require the support of others so you won’t do these jobs in isolation. Which one is for you?
One of the best jobs in sorority is the Organizer – this to me is like being the bat boy. You are in the center of the game. You have to be watching, paying attention to everyone around you, keeping the equipment organized, and sometimes you even carry the water. Your role might just be the most important because you are organizing. Who is the person in your Chapter who works hard like the bat boy and is rarely in the spotlight? Call that person right now and ask them to run for Organizer (you are in the role of the fan – cheering your Sister on!).
At the end of the day we are all catchers. We grab at the chance to help others. We snag the children and women who need a hand up and provide. We call the signals when one of our own is in need – and get the card showers of love and get well wishes going, we make and deliver the casserole because a new baby has arrived, we dress in black slacks and a white blouse because a Sister has joined Zeta Chapter. I hope that you will catch the SPG fast pitch into service – it is time for many of you to run for office at the Chapter, Province, and International levels. Let’s win this one for the home team – Sigma Phi Gamma – together we are one in friendship, service, and community!

CHANGE by INTERNATIONAL VICE PRESIDENT, DEB JURACICH

Autumn in Ohio is a beautiful season and favorite of many. The beautiful transition from lush green to shades of reds, orange, yellow, and browns is breathtaking. Travel is planned to areas where foliage is at a peak. Animals are scurrying about preparing for the upcoming winter months. Mother Nature sure knows how to paint a wonderful picture! She provides and embraces the seasonal changes. We, as humans, look forward to Mother Nature’s changing environment.
So why is change not valued or is a source of anxiety for so many people? Often times we look forward to Mother Nature’s changes but no other changes that occur in our lives. Change is a fact of life!
Change can be a valuable tool in leadership. Change doesn’t have to be anxious or a negative. During the second weekend of the Wood Badge course that I took through the Boy Scouts, I learned about the Steps for Leading Change. I am working on this list. Some items are easier than others, and they are a work in progress.
1. Recognize that change happens. Anticipate change … Accept Change … Learn to move along!
2. Empower others to help you lead change.
3. Lead change based on vision, mission, and values. This determines direction.
4. Establish urgency. Communicate to others the vision and steps.
5. Move ahead, regardless. There are those who will resist change. Continue to encourage. They will either become interested in the change, decide they do not want left behind, or remove themselves from the change.
6. Create a culture that embraces change. Establish goals for embracing change.
The ultimate step for leading change …
7. Become a lifelong learner!
We cannot become what we need to be by remaining the same! How are you going to embrace change today?