How To Help If You Sew by Marlyna Croson

Hi Sisters,

I’ll keep it short and sweet.  I know we have all been hearing and reading about the Coronavirus.  I know you are thinking, as am I, on what we can do to help.  Some Chapters and Provinces have probably already come up with amazing ideas-but for those that haven’t and are still looking-I have a fantastic idea!
If you sew; making cotton face masks for children and adults for hospitals, nursing homes, cancer related facilities, etc. is an amazing way to help your community.  The use of fabric face masks is an alternative during a crisis when all other supplies have been exhausted.  We are nearing that point!  Fabric face masks can be sterilized and reused as needed.  Your efforts would not go unnoticed and would potentially help thousands.  Please consider crafting and donating to your local health care facility.
Below are instructions used for creation.
Marlyna Croson
Nu Sigma Chapter
Rho Province

How to make a Face Mask

What you will need

  • Cotton fabric, a pretty print is best.
  • Rope Elastic, beading cord elastic will work (you may also us 1/8” flat elastic)
  • Cut the elastic 7” long and tie a knot at each end (DO NOT knot the ends of the flat)

You can make two sizes:   Adult or Child

  1.   Put right sides of cotton fabric together  (Cut 9″ x 6″ for Adult or 7.5″ x 5″ for Child)
  2. Starting at the center of the bottom edge, sew to the first corner, stop.  Sew the elastic with the edge out into the corner.  A few stitches forward and back will hold this.
  3. Sew to the next corner, stop, and bring the other end of the same elastic to the corner and sew a few stitches forward and back.
  4. Now sew across that top of the mask to the next corner.  Again put an elastic with the edge out.
  5. Sew to the next corner and sew in the other end of the same elastic.
  6. Sew across the bottom leaving about 1.5” to 2” open.  Stop, cut the thread. Turn inside out.
  7. Pin 3 tucks on each side of the mask.  Make sure the tucks are the same direction
  8. Sew around the edge of the mask twice.

It is so easy to make this.

Be sure any fabric design is placed horizontally.

Impact of COVID-19 by International Vice President Linda Bullington

What a crazy time this past month has been!  Who could have imagined the fallout we are going through right now?!   And it’s all caused by a little virus!  Most of our communities have new, sometimes stringent directions in place to get our country through this crisis.  Follow those guidelines to stay healthy and help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Recent direct impact to SPG as a sorority was the cancellation of Mu and Alpha’s Province Meetings.  Mu Province is hoping to reschedule at a later date.  Luckily most Province members got their sorority batteries recharged from our weekends of sharing sisterhood before this health scare got so serious.  Your International Council is monitoring conditions and has decided to “watch what happens for a while” before making a decision on St. Louis.  For now, it’s still a go for International 2020, our 100th anniversary as an organization!  Happy Anniversary to us!

What have we learned from this recent health impact?  Not to hoard, not to gather in crowded spaces, to wash our hands often and not to touch our faces.  I hope we have also learned to help those who need help.  Check on the elderly or immune compromised in your life.  Help them out by doing their shopping so they can stay home where they are able to stay away from the unknowing carrier.  Check in on them to be aware of their health.  They will appreciate your concern and if they aren’t a member, it just might be the thing that makes them realize they want to be!

To help in your community, check to see if there is something you can do to help as a volunteer.  This is one of the things we do best as SPG members!

Many places are limited to essential personnel at this time.  If that’s the case in your area, don’t impact conditions by ignoring directions.  If we all have our health and the health of those around us in mind, we will make it to the other side of this crisis.  If you have been told not to go to work, make productive use of your time off: spring clean, read that book you’ve wanted to get to, enjoy the company of your family, play games, watch movies, whatever you enjoy to pass time.

This virus is transmitted by droplet contact-someone coughs or sneezes and you walk into the mist expelled, or, the mist settles on surfaces and you touch the surface then touch your face.  It is suggested to maintain a 6ft space around you when you must be in public areas but best of all avoid being there if possible.  This doesn’t mean you can’t go outside.  Exercise is good for your health.  Take a walk, enjoy the fresh air, birds and scenery in your area.

If you are sick, check with your doctor’s office before going in as there may be a new policy in place to keep you and those around you from potential exposure to the COVID-19 virus.   Wash your hands often using the 20 second washing rule.  Warm water and soap is the best method, or use hand sanitizer when hand washing is not possible.  Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue, toss it afterward and wash your hands after tossing the tissue.  Avoid touching your face and avoid contact with others outside of your immediate household if possible, till this virus is contained.

If you are sick, self isolate, but stay in contact with someone who can monitor your health from a distance in case your health declines further.  If you are healthy, use common sense precautions.  Follow any restrictions placed on your area.  And share our resources fairly so all have a chance to get what they need, to get through this situation.

Sending Cyber hugs, Linda

The Week That Tried My Soul by Pat Herweg

“These are the times that tries men’s souls” said Thomas Paine, December 1776.  Well, our country, our world is back into a situation that tries men’s souls again.

We are strong, we are resilient, we just need a little encouragement and support from each other.  That is why we are a sisterhood.   We are there for each other.  If it is a phone call, a silly picture posted on Facebook, or maybe a card in the mail; we are there for each other.

I have been in Sigma Phi Gamma for 10 years now, it has been the best organization I have ever been associated with as an adult.  It is special to me and I rely on my sisters for support.

Last week was the week that tried my soul.  My husband had a medical emergency.  My sisters got me through the worst, phone calls, prayers and words of encouragement.  Let us be that for each other.  God bless my sisters.

Pat Herweg, Eta Sigma Chapter, Omicron Province, Buffalo New York.

Exercise Your Right To Vote By Linda Bullington, International Vice President

Have you voted yet?  Women fought for you to have the right to vote!  Exercise your right!  If you don’t vote, you don’t have a say in how our country is run and you can’t complain about the people in office.

On voting day in my state of Washington,  I thought about women in politics and the advances we have made through the years.  With SPG’s 100th anniversary approaching, I wonder if there were some significant events from the 1920’s related to women.  1920 was a time of change for our country.  Women were beginning to leave the home and make their mark in the world, but equality between the sexes was a major struggle.

Did you know that in 1920 there were many words to reference a woman?  Broad, tomato, doll, dame, moll, hotsy-totsy and Sheba were used for women seen as objects of pleasure.  A woman of low intelligence was a “Dumb Dora.”  An uptight straitlaced woman was a “Mrs. Grundy.”  When a woman was referred to as “the bees knees,” she was extraordinary.  Which label would fit you?

In 1920 our country had a defacto woman President, Edith Wilson.  Edith served as a buffer between her husband President Woodrow Wilson and his cabinet, following his decline in health from a blood clot which caused paralysis, partial blindness and brain damage.  Edith would guide Woodrow’s hand in signing documents and relay his decisions on topics needing his input for the last year and a half of his term.  Yet still 100 years later there has been no woman President!

On Aug. 18, 1920 women won the right to vote!  We owe our gratitude to the suffragists who championed that right!  Women are starting to run for President but it’s somewhere in the future, because politics is still viewed as a man’s arena.  But women now have a say in how their country is governed.

August 1920 was also the time that our Founders formed Sigma Phi Gamma which is dedicated to friendship, sisterhood and community service.  It’s been 100 years and SPG still provides friendship, sisterhood and community service!  Share our sorority with your family, friends and acquaintances.  Let’s keep our sorority strong by increasing our membership numbers.  Let’s make our next 100 years even better!  Share your “why, when, and who”  and what we do to “Help Keep SPG Glowing by Growing!”