Happy New Year

Happy New Year!
As we ring in a new year it is a time to think about fresh starts! Sometimes we really want to work hard on something important – improved health, learning a new skill, or preparing our homes to be safer and more organized. We also have some superficial promises we make, knowing that they sound good but aren’t practical or promising – I’ll let you make your own list on this one!
For sure we want to be better people – engaging in meaningful relationships, helping others in our communities, volunteering with special projects, and the list goes on. I’ve been thinking about what I can do to be a better member of Sigma Phi Gamma – here’s my list:
1. I can encourage ladies I know to become members of SPG. This will only happen if I invite them to events, meetings, parties, and opportunities to volunteer.
2. I will serve when asked. A Sister of ours once said to me, “I always say, ‘yes,’ to a Sister who needs my help.” This is an attitude worth duplicating.
3. I must attend to each role I have as a leader (chair, member, supporter). Read the rules, follow the timelines, engage, and communicate with all involved.
So as we once again begin a new year, let’s affirm our roles and responsibilities to our beloved Sigma Phi Gamma International Sorority! Happy New Year!
Much love to all,
Donna Collins
International Counselor

Giving by Robin Pelton – International Vice President

My husband and I recently participated in a “Toy Run” organized by our local Harley Davidson dealership. Hundreds of motorcyclists bring one toy per rider and ride from Chico by back roads up to the small town of Magalia and end up at a church. We had police escorts stopping traffic, people standing on the side of the road waving, and at the end we had a BBQ lunch and homemade desserts prepared and served by the church congregation. The church altar and beyond was filled with hundreds of toys for local children whose parents are struggling to make ends meet.
The thing that struck me was a friend’s perspective of this event. He was in awe of the generosity and love that was shown that day. The sight of so many toys brought by so many different people from so many different backgrounds to be given to kids they didn’t even know was overwhelming to him. He was very emotional about it.
As I listened to him express his feelings, I was reminded of our Sorority. I felt fortunate to understand what he was talking about, but also to know that I have experienced it many times. The spirit of giving in our organization is alive and well and that is one of the things I love about Sigma Phi Gamma. Giving back to our communities and helping those that need it is one of the best things we do. It is one of the reasons why I joined and a big part of why I am in Leadership and want to see our Sorority grow and thrive.
I know that this is how all of my Sisters feel as well, and I am truly thankful for that. We ALL are a part of a wonderful group, aren’t we?

Just a Note from your Historian

Have you ever felt like nothing you do is right? Well I have felt that way lately. My daughter is struggling in school, my co-worker left without notice leaving me more work than I can handle, and I have more deadlines on my calendar than I have dates. I am a little, no a lot overwhelmed. Have you ever felt that way?
I write this post not for sympathy but hopefully to show someone else that they are not alone. A note from a sister or encouraging words goes a long way. Many of my Gamma province sisters have dropped me notes or emails which encouraged me. Also some new friends from across the country have sent very nice emails as well. Thank you all for your friendship and patience as I adjust to my responsibilities as your Historian.
We can be that special person who encourages someone else. We are here to support those in need but never forget that person may be your chapter sister.

Love to you all,
Debbie Henize

December 2017 – Donna Collins International Counselor

As part of my quest to attend to my own needs and growth I’ve been reading a couple of new books and lots of articles about deep and meaningful relationships. The book I’m reading now is by Deborah Tannen, You’re the Only One I Can Tell. She’s written many books including: You Were Always Mom’s Favorite!, You’re Wearing That! Understanding Mothers and Daughters; The Argument Culture: Stopping America’s War of Words; and several more.
In You’re the Only One I Can Tell there are a couple of sub-chapters that are quite interesting: FOBLO: Fear Of Being Left Out; FOMO: Fear Of Missing Out; and FOGKO: Fear of Getting Kicked Out. Who knew there were such fears and that they have their own acronyms.
As a Sigma Phi Gamma Sister I was instantly relieved that FOBLO and FOGKO are not a part of our vocabulary! And, as for FOMO – we are guilty of this – and that’s why we never want to miss a Chapter or Province meeting or International Convention, but not for the reasons someone outside sorority would imagine. We have FOMO because we know not being present means we’re missing out on fun, laughter, stories, service, and fellowship.
This month we’ll celebrate with our Sisters by giving gifts, sharing a meal, and giving to others – we won’t miss out! In 2018 we’ll participate in Chapter meetings, service, and planning – we won’t miss out! In the first few months of the year we will participate in our Province meeting conducting business, learning new things, having healthy discussions, and there will be lots of fellowship – we won’t miss out.
Next summer we’ll travel to Portland, Oregon for the annual International Convention where we’ll conduct business (updates, financial reports, bylaw deliberations, election of officers, and discussions and learning opportunities), sale and buy sorority related materials at the SPG Market Place, visit new destinations through the planned tours, and celebrate the successes of Sisters attending their first convention, and applauding those Sisters earning their 25/50/75 year member recognitions! We won’t miss out!
I’m so glad that I belong to an organization that doesn’t have to worry about some of the fears that exist out in the world. We are, after all, one in Friendship, Service, and Community – Sigma Phi Gamma!

Holiday Memories from Sandy Morris – International Editor

It’s funny the things you look back on now as an adult and see them differently than you did as a child.  I have many memories of my Dad, but there are some that stand out more than others. He was a good Dad, not perfect, few of us are. He loved to teach us things, which as kid I didn’t really “get.”  However, my Mom was the one who had a plan, she would stay home and clean house and have time to herself while Dad would take all of us kids out on a Saturday morning and we would run his “errands” with him.  His errands usually including stopping by the pet store to look at the animals. He would take us to the stamp store to look at and maybe purchase some old stamps for his collection. On nice days we would go to the train museum in Louisville and learn about the trains, and get to climb on them and explore the train cars. And a Saturday wouldn’t be complete without stopping by and visiting with his Dad, our Grandpa. Now I see how much he taught me and I didn’t even know it!
On occasion my Dad would decide to cook. He had a few “specialties,” that we enjoyed. The best thing he made was his Chili. But during the Holidays he would make these cookies. I have no idea what the recipe is or really what they are called, but if you mention those” little yellow cookies with the brown edges,” every one of us will know immediately what you are talking about. With five kids the best thing about that recipe is that it made a lot of cookies! Another memory I have is the time he and mom decided to make donuts. I think they made donuts ALL day long, talk about a lot of donuts! They just kept coming, it was funny to watch, I remember my parents laughing at all the donuts.
In later years he continued his culinary attempts with many different recipes, not the everyday meals, but the special treats that would give him a challenge. Always learning! A good example!