A Little Reflection About Our Creed & Self-Love and Improvement

A blog post from Suzanne Hermanson

I’ve always loved reciting the SPG Creed. I believe it embodies what we strive to be as Sisters and frankly, as human beings.

We are all flawed individuals. We know our own faults better than most.

As you know most New Year’s resolutions are lost before February rolls around but, I would like to propose a new challenge. What if we each select one line (and one line only) from the Creed and beginning now, in our new sorority year,  each of us works on that part of the Creed we would most like to improve in ourselves. This is a personal journey, not a Chapter or Province project.  I think you will discover, like me, that it is an ongoing process of self-improvement.

Next summer you may wish to select a new line of the Creed, or you may stay with the same line. If you falter along the way, don’t give up, just start anew.

This resolution of self-reflection and self-work is not intended to be an easy endeavor, but one of self awareness and improvement. All of us working toward the same goal, to be a better Sister and a better human being.

It might be fun to hear some of your success stories around this same time next year.

. . . I have mine selected!

Love Always,

Suzanne

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.

A Mother’s Day Weekend Message from Donna Collins

It’s Mother’s Day weekend … yes, we’ve gone from a day to a weekend. You know this is a big deal, not because we asked for it but rather the world is getting busier and young people need time to fit us into their schedules – the result is Mother’s Day weekend!

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. 

So many of you have filled a place in my heart that broke. You have offered me cards, notes, letters, phone calls, poems, social networking posts, and most of all you have ‘mothered me’ into reality. Helping me better understand the cycle of life, reminding me that who I am today is because of my mother, and knowing that I am loved.

Thank you for being my Sister and my mother. Thank you, just like my real Mom, for loving me for who I am (flaws and all). We are all someone’s daughter, so to each of you I send my love and best wishes for a fabulous Mother’s Day weekend.

Love,
Donna

People Helping People

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.

 

How Kappa Sigma Exemplifies SPG’s Friendship-Service-Community

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.

Doing Good … Feeling Good … Making Good

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!

Thinking About Ways to Use Social Networking to Attract More Women to Your Chapter?

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

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.

 

Letter to Chapter Leaders

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 vicepresident@sigmaphigamma.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.

Merry Christmas,

Santa

Sister to Sister…..