As I volunteer, I reflect on our Mission and Vision Statements by Robin Pelton, International President

Many of you know about the tragedy that has been on-going in my community since December 8, 2018.  The Camp Fire affected many small towns in Northern California and destroyed thousands of homes and businesses in the town of Paradise, just 15 miles away from Chico.  As I write this, the death toll is up to 79 and there are still hundreds missing.  My daughter and son-in-law lost their home and everything in it, but are alive and well, and were able to save their beloved cat, Gemma.

I have been lucky enough to personally see a huge outpouring of kindness and humanity during this tragic time.  My daughter has been blessed by friends and family sending gift cards, items, cash, cards, emails, texts, hugs and prayers.  The amount of support has been overwhelming.  I have been doing what I can to help, donating items, sorting and hanging clothes for a pop-up “free” clothing store at a local church, delivering items to evacuation centers, etc.  Most people are doing this.

Stories abound on Facebook about strangers showing compassion and kindness to strangers.  Other stories are about the personal experiences of escaping this extremely fast-moving disaster.  There was no warning and many were fortunate to escape with their lives. Many had to run and leave cars behind.  Some were not so lucky.

As I volunteer at this time, I can’t help but reflect on our Mission and Vision Statements:

MISSION: Sigma Phi Gamma Sorority – together we are one in friendship, service, and community.

VISION: Sigma Phi Gamma Sorority brings women together to inspire one another through friendship and service today, tomorrow, and forever.

This monumentally tragic event will not be over quickly. It will be months, perhaps years, before lives will be back to normal.  My Chapter, Delta Nu, will do what we can to help.  Helping others, helping our community, and reaching out to those unfortunate enough to need this help, that is what Sigma Phi Gamma is all about.  Thank God for our Sorority—today, tomorrow, and forever.

Fall brings many changes – by Linda Bullington, International Organizer

Once you’ve mowed the lawn for the last time, raked all the leaves, packed away the lawn furniture and any other yard related chores you do at the end of the season, it frees up a lot of your time.  As the weather becomes colder, wetter, snowy or gloomy, we tend to stay indoors more.  This is the perfect time to ramp up your efforts to recruit new members for SPG!  Invite your non-sorority friends to do something together, something you know they enjoy.  While you are together, share the joy of recent sorority events you’ve been involved with.  Make it apparent how much joy and fulfillment you receive from participating in SPG events.  Make them wish they could share in the events too!  (because they can… if you invite them…)  Take it as slow as they need to go, so you don’t scare them away.  Or if they are all about speed, rush them right on in!  Be the best representation of SPG you can be when you are around non-SPG friends or relatives.  Smiling, happy and helpful are examples of what you should share.  Your Chapter Organizer, Province Organizer, AEX team and International Organizer look to you for leads on potential ladies to welcome into SPG.  We need your help in locating prospective members to cultivate into actual SPG members. The success of SPG begins with you!  Our sorority survival depends on you helping bring new members in!  You can help keep SPG viable for years to come!

Hello everyone – By Debbie Henize, International Historian

I woke up early on my last day of a long weekend in Gatlinburg.  I woke early just because it is my habit.  I love the quite time before anyone gets up.  As I read a blog post from Donna Collins, it reminded me to post as well.
I was just thinking of how blessed I am.  I am in one of my favorite places with my favorite people, my mom Darlene Partin, Stephanie Branch and my daughter Makayla Henize.  Just spending time with them is a huge blessing but we get to come to this beautiful part of the country every year and see God’s wonderful miracles of nature.
With the serious fires going on in California right now and the fires that left 14 dead and many without homes here in Gatlinburg a year ago, I am again reminded of how precious we are to one another.  Sorority is a very special place where we build life long friendships through helping others.  It feels good to know that we are able to make a difference in the communities we serve.  We are able to help others by helping ourselves.  What I mean by this is that the friendships that we are building are essential in our lives.  They give us purpose and help us through hard times.  It is these friendships that allow us the ability to go out and help someone else.  This is a treasured miracle.
Share this miracle with someone else.  What a wonderful blessing you can be to someone else

Never Let A Crisis Go To Waste – Donna Collins, Past International President

I’m writing today as I watch the national news to keep an eye on our Sisters in California who are literally being burned out of their homes.  As I pray, wring my hands, send messages, scan Facebook, and try to figure out how to help I kept thinking about the phrase made famous by Churchill or some other person I can’t remember at the moment – Never let a crisis go to waste.
We have an opportunity to do more than pray!  While we sit comfortably in our living rooms let’s make a pact right now – really, right now:
I will make a donation to disaster relief in California that is meaningful.
I will talk to my Sisters at our next Chapter meeting and we will take action to do something that will assist the tens of thousands of people who no longer have homes, personal belongings, clothes, books, or treasures.
I will call a Sister in my Chapter who hasn’t been active of late and ask for her help too – maybe by starting a collection site for gift cards and money that can go to those in need.
And, I’ll even make this an opportunity to let women I know who are not members – know that we are looking out for our Sisters in California and invite them to participate. What better way to demonstrate the power of our motto: Together we are one in Friendship, Service, and Community – Sigma Phi Gamma!
I’m sure you have lots of ideas on how to help.  Share those with us so that we can support the work you want to do on behalf of the latest crisis in California.  We’re Sigma Phi Gamma Sisters and we are always looking for opportunities to help – let’s not let this crisis go untouched by Sigma Phi Gamma members.

Thankful November by Deb Juracich, International Counselor

November is the month that we tend to focus on gratitude and thankfulness. This is an appropriate time to to share my thankful for Sigma Phi Gamma list with all of my Sisters.
What are you thankful for?

“When given the choice between being right or being kind, choose kind.”

I love that quote by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer.  I try my best to live by that philosophy .  For a stubborn person like me, sometimes that is hard. But along my life’s journey, I have found that even when I KNOW I am right, arguing about it is never the best thing.  I have learned that backing down and letting the other person “win”, not only results in peace and goodwill, but in time, the other person usually finds out that they were wrong.  I also find that agreeing to disagree with respect and love promotes more respect and love.
The next time that you KNOW you are right about something and another disagrees with you, take a moment to pause and reflect.  Is it really that important to be right?  I choose kind.
Robin Pelton
International President

Hosting International Convention 2022 by Robin Pelton, International President

Hear ye, hear ye!
Be it understood that we are still looking for bids for the
2022 International Convention!
Several Provinces expressed interest in hosting, and the deadline of September 30 is fast approaching.
Any Province that would like to take on the pleasure of hosting your Sisters for the 2022 International Convention, please email or mail me your information.
Province name
Proposed chair(s)
Proposed place
Proposed theme
Proposed dates
Nothing has to be “set in stone” at this time. I hope to hear from you soon!!

Prescription: Friendship by Debbie Henize

Did you know that Friendship is good for your health? I recently read that friends are a great way to improve both your physical and mental well-being. The staff at the Mayo Clinic reported…
Good friends are good for your health. Friends can help you celebrate good times and provide support during bad times. Friends prevent loneliness and give you a chance to offer needed companionship too. Friends can also:
* Increase your sense of belonging and purpose
* Boost your happiness and reduce your stress
* Improve your self-confidence and self-worth
Help you cope with traumas, such as divorce, serious illness, job loss or the death of a loved one
* Encourage you to change or avoid unhealthy lifestyle habits, such as excessive drinking or lack of exercise

Friends also play a significant role in promoting your overall health. Adults with strong social support have a reduced risk of many significant health problems, including depression, high blood pressure and an unhealthy body mass index (BMI). Studies have even found that older adults with a rich social life are likely to live longer than their peers with fewer connections.

Doctor’s aren’t the only people who know the value of friendship. Sigma Phi Gamma Sister’s know how important our friendship and support is to one another. We can each play a part in our Sister’s health. Reach out and foster current friendships and make an effort to build more. Many women are waiting for us to improve their health.

A Way To Remain An Active Sister by Diana Horn

I recently learned that my former Beta Omega Chapter in Dayton, Ohio, became an Alumna Chapter. Beta Omega was down to just five members and struggled to keep their Chapter active for the last several years. This makes me very sad because in the past, Beta Omega had been a strong and vital Chapter in Tau Province.

Sometimes when an older Chapter loses members (many to Zeta) it’s a challenge to keep active. But what about those Alumna members that continue to have the capacity and desire to do more? I suggest they consider having their membership reinstated to active status as a virtual member of Sigma Phi Gamma. Contact your Province Organizer and ask where there is a Chapter that provides remote members access to meetings via electronic means. If your Province Organizer does not have an answer, then contact your Area Expansion Member. Your AEX Member will be able to recommend the best Chapter to remain an active member in Sigma Phi Gamma.

It’s really not hard to stay connected. I’ve been in Indiana all summer. That’s nearly 1000 miles away from my Xi Rho Chapter in Florida. Yet, I’ve been able to attend my Chapter’s business meetings using an internet connection. I log on and suddenly I’m in the meeting. I answer to roll call and participate in turn, as I do when I attend in person. It’s great to stay connected with my Sisters, to see their faces, participate in the chatter, and be energized by our ongoing projects. I want that vital active connection for my dear Beta Omega Sisters and any Alumna Sister who desires to be an active member in our wonderful sorority. Please consider virtual participation as an option to remain an active member of Sigma Phi Gamma Sorority.

It’s A Small, Small World! By Linda Bullington, International Organizer

I was recently enjoying some family time, sharing a delicious breakfast of homemade Dutch baby pancakes with fresh berries and sitting outside on a beautiful sunny morning.  The conversation went around the table with each family member catching the rest of us up with what had been going on in their lives since we were together last.

When my turn came, of course I told them all about our recent International Convention.  As I was telling them about events that had occurred, my brother-in-law said, “I wonder if this is the same sorority as the one my Mom was in?” I said “Oh, probably not.  We are a friendship & community service sorority, not a scholastic one.” He got up and went inside for a moment and when he came back out he had two photo albums with him.

Imagine my surprise when I opened them to see SPG pictures from the mid 50’s & 60’s!  I actually got goosebumps and it was a warm summer day!  His Mom had been a sorority sister!  In fact, I had been a member while she was still living!  His Mom was International President, Audrey Yancey – 1955/56!

I enjoyed browsing through the albums.  There were photos of our 5 Life Founders-some of the photos I don’t remember having seen before!  Seeing names I recognized – Joan Dahl, Beverlee Herder, Marjorie Greene.  Of course, the sisters in the photographs were much younger than the sisters I knew/know now.

It was nice to read the articles and see how we still do some things the same now as back in those days.  I also wondered what those ladies would think about the advances we’ve made since then.

On a few photos they identified a sister as Mesdame John Herder.  It took me a moment to figure that out…back in the day, women were an extension of their husband.  I remember my Mom using Mrs. Rodney Taylor.  Funny how time changes some things, I never was Mrs. Someone, even when I was married! – LOL

Jay, my brother-in-law, said he will keep a few photos from the albums when he’s had time to go through them one last time, then he’ll give the rest to me to pass on to our archives!

You never know how, when or where you’ll meet a sorority sister, cuz it’s, A Small, Small World!

Sister to Sister…..