When I think about Sigma Phi Gamma, I think about the hundreds of women in our sorority who are indeed my Sisters – but many of you are also my surrogate Mother. When my Mom died on February 4, 2016 my heart was broken. My life felt immediately less full. And, now in May, the loss and sadness are still like an open wound – but it is different.
Mary Hall, a Vandalia resident and member of Kappa Beta Chapter, is displaying the blanket she made from more than 100 four-inch corner cut out squares left from making fringed fleece blankets. The squares were from 45 blankets made by Kappa Beta Chapter for their annual donation to the oncology department of Dayton Children’s Hospital. This blanket will be included in the silent auction at Kappa Beta’s Springtime in Vandalia annual art and craft show. Quality fine art and crafts will be for sale. The show will be held on Saturday, April 23rd from 9 to 4 at the Vandalia United Methodist Church. Proceeds from this event go to support several charities and 3 Butler High School scholarships provided by Kappa Beta. Locally, the charities are the Vandalia Foodbank, nursing home programs, Crayons to Classrooms, Dayton Children’s Hospital and the Fisher House at WPAFB. Additional charities are supported through our district and international chapters of Sigma Phi Gamma. Springtime in Vandalia is a great opportunity to buy unique gifts and support charities. Lunch/brunch will also be served.
Sometimes a tagline is just a tagline – words that might sound good or have a catchy vibe, but with nothing behind them.
That is certainly not the case with SPG’s new tagline – Friendship-Service-Community and I can say that, in that regard, my Kappa Sigma sisters don’t just talk the talk – we walk the walk.
I’d like to address the Service-Community piece first, because they go hand in hand and because I’m saving the best (Friendship) for last.
Kappa Sigma sisters have made a difference to a number of organizations in our respective communities. In Plainville, it’s the Living Bread Food Pantry, where sisters can be found picking up food at Trader Joe’s, or Panera’s, or Walmart, bagging food on Sunday mornings, and distributing food on Wednesday nights. We’re also there to help with the Boy Scout drop-offs, when we have to organize and sort all of the donations and have also supported the pantry with many cash donations over the years.
Plainville pets also benefit from our service at the annual Rabies Clinic and it’s a blast for us as we get to visit with so many furry friends.
Kappa Sigma has also made our presence known in North Attleboro with volunteer work at the soup kitchen, making St. Vincent DePaul deliveries to needy families in the area, and we even provide storage for furniture and furnishings for families who are in need of housing, so that when housing is found it can be delivered to them. We’ve participated in the local Relay for Life and our annual almost famous bake sale at the North Attleboro Honor Society Craft Fair helps to benefit that organization and also helps fund our other charities, like Abundant Hope in Attleboro, where we were pleased to be able to deliver $200 worth of long-sleeved onesies for young mothers in need.
Sue Pappalardo is inspired “I love just being able to hear what my sorority sisters do to help people in need not only in financial but in life’s difficult situations. Helping others that are having a difficult time makes me feel useful.”
To sum it up, as Patty Brown says, her “Kappa Sigma sisters are always on the lookout for ways to help other people, then they make it happen!”
Now for the fun part – Friendship. As a relatively new member (since 2013), I can say that I felt loved and welcomed by these wonderful women well before I even made the decision to Pledge. You see, in Kappa Sigma, it doesn’t matter whether you’ve been in sorority for 50 years or five months. Love is love.
To that point, several Kappa Sigma sisters recently visited Natalie Rammel, one of our chapter founders and a woman whom most of you know and adore. We got to talking about Convention and Tami Beane asked Natalie what were her favorite Convention locations and she replied “I liked them all”. She said she made new friends (always her advice for new convention attendees – make a new friend at each convention) everywhere she went.
And real friendship is important, particularly in this day and age when sites like Facebook are great for sharing news and keeping up, but a poor substitute for true companionship and comradery. As Donna Brown puts it, “Whether we are enjoying a dinner and a movie night, having a pound auction, preparing for a round table, we enjoy spending time together. Sisters are there in times of difficulty. Sisters are there in times of celebration. Sisters are travel buddies for going to convention. Sisters make a difference in my life and for this I feel truly blessed.”
So to sum it up, as Pam Murphy so eloquently expresses it, “I have one blood sister – but I have dozens – really hundreds – of sorority sisters. The most special sisters are my Kappa Sigma sisters. I have been in sorority for 28 years. I so enjoy the friendship, support and affection we all share. It’s fun to get together as a Province – more sisters to talk and laugh with and share ideas and experiences. It’s like a giant HUG of friendship and support. And then – going to convention – and meeting other sisters from around the country. It is so heartwarming to contribute to our international service projects and then hear the presentations about the hundreds of people and families who benefit from our efforts and financial support. I don’t know what I would do without the love and friendship of sorority.”
Friendship-Service-Community. That’s how Kappa Sigma rolls – Tami, Donna, Patty, Lorrie, RoseAnna, Pam, Sue, Melody, Colleen, and Natalie – thank you for being you and for being my sisters.
This week, the Xi Xi Sisters in Gamma Province (Columbus, Ohio) met for our monthly meeting and worked on a pop up service project. We decided to bring some purses we don’t use anymore, toiletries, socks, make up, snacks, and other goodies … and create ‘purse giveaways.’ In less than 30 minutes we packed gallon size zip top plastic bags with all the goodies we brought to the meeting. Each purse was loaded with a bag and we were ready to go. Next step – put the packed purses in our trunks – and be on the look out for a woman in need.
Our goal, each time we saw a homeless woman, or a woman who seemed down on her luck – we would stop, give them a bag, and let them know that we’re all women and we all need a ‘pick me up’ every now and then. A kind word and a few essentials that would be really appreciated. The idea of the ‘purse giveaways’ was not original, we learned about it through social media. This worthy idea allowed us to support women in need.
So, the business meeting was on Tuesday night (when we packed the bags). On Wednesday I had given away two bags. On Thursday two more. And, Friday one more, then I was out of bags to share. The smiles from the women who received the purses and bags melted my heart. Doing good … Feeling good … Making good is what SPG is all about.
Never underestimate the impact of a service project. Just a little bit of time, a good idea, and sharing what we already have can and does change lives!
Donna Collins, Vice President
A recent inquiry about Chapter’s hosting a public Facebook page got your International Council into a discussion about how we hope to attract women interested in being part of our Sorority at the local level. The inquiry, from a Chapter asked if it was possible to make their private Facebook page, or portions of it, public. Your International Council offers the following:
Yes, you may have a public Facebook page – noting that ownership is YOUR CHAPTER. We ask that you not use the following SPG elements: Sigma Phi Gamma, the crest, or new logo. You should also not use your Province name or information without the Province President’s permission.
Our rationale is that, noting the request was for a public Chapter Facebook page, this keeps the International and Chapter as two different entities and you won’t need permission from the International President to post things. We ask that you invite members of the International Council to ‘friend’ your page. We are eager to keep up with all you are doing and to learn from how you post and communicate.
Also, as you know, once you make contact with new and potential members you can direct them to the SPG website, and any other appropriate sorority information.
It is very exciting that our Chapter leaders are seeking additional ways to connect with the friends of Sisters, members of your geographic region, and others who may find you via your public Facebook connections.
Friendship, Service, and Community … another way to get connected and grow!
Chi Ladies Making a Difference
Omicron Alpha, Cerritos – We have more great news to share! Our Second Annual Yard Sale was a huge success!!! We had everything from clothes to toys and furniture to household items; raising a whopping $1,100 for the charities voted on today. A large percentage being donated to Mercy House, with Project Cuddle and I.C.A.R.E Dog Rescue to receive the remaining raised.
Our next planned fundraising event is the ever so popular Second Annual Hand Bag Bingo. So save the date! Our big day is set for April 30th, 2016. A few months ago Kappa Nu so generously invited our chapter to assist with the Casino Night with the understanding that the funds would be split. The night was amazing; filled with casino games, delicious food, cupcakes, drinks, and tons of prizes. Thank you to all the ladies in Kappa Nu for this opportunity and we really appreciate the chance of learning.
Our next social on Friday the 16th was enjoyed by all that were able to attend. It was a night filled with food, drinks and Karaoke. We are also looking forward to our Holiday Social “Friendsgiving” to be held at Deanna’s place. Sounds like we will be treated to a full course Thanksgiving feast and my taste buds are dying in anticipation. Our chapter has also been involved in helping Caterina’s Club, Project Cuddle, and Working Women’s Wardrobe. We have been keeping busy and are looking forward to more service projects in the near future.
Dear Chapter Leaders:
As Christmas approaches, Santa Claus has been checking his ‘naughty and nice’ list. He has discovered that about 30 Chapters have not yet sent their Report on Chapter Bylaws to the SPG International Vice President. The elves are busy preparing reports and checking on Chapters to make sure they are good standing so that they can make the ‘nice’ list prior to Christmas.
Now girls, you know who you are, please send your Report on Chapter Bylaws to Donna Collins today. You’ve received emails and notice in the BUDDIE with the form and instructions. If you need help – contact Donna at email@example.com or 614-679-3997.
Santa will be sharing the ‘naughty’ list on Christmas Eve … and we know you don’t want your Chapter’s name to appear.
Something new for SPG is coming
The Marketing and Technology committees have been working on new and exciting things for our website. Their efforts will be revealed on January 1st. Be sure to take a peek on our website.
CHAPTER BYLAWS REVIEW AN IMPORTANT PART OF DOING BUSINESS
With just a few days left before the deadline to submit your Annual Report of Chapter Bylaws Form and Amendments I can report that 25 Chapters have submitted reports. As the holiday season begins it is only going to get tougher to get this task completed. PLEASE take a few minutes to complete the form and email it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are submitting a newly typed set of bylaws send them to me via email. It is not necessary to submit the form or a copy of bylaws via US mail. Sending these items by email is actually easier – it allows me to save the information in International’s permanent electronic files for your Chapter.
So, before the turkey is in the oven, or the holiday parties begin, complete your task as Vice President to review your Chapter bylaws and return the appropriate form to me prior to December 1st.
Your International Council wishes you and every member of our SPG family a safe and engaging holiday season. Starting with Thanksgiving and rolling right through the new year we pray for your good health, joyous hearts, and thankful service.
It fills our hearts with warmth and love to hear about all of the great service work that is being done for children, families, and those less fortunate this holiday season. While our beloved sorority is about friendship – we are at the very heart of our beings about service and community.
May you and yours be blessed. May those you serve receive your offerings with an open and thankful heart. May your community enjoy a safe holiday season. May our world be more kind and loving.
From our homes to yours … with much love.
Wendie, Donna, Liz, Deb, Joyce, Jill, Jan, and Mary Ann