One of the key components to joining any Greek organization is philanthropic work. Making it a priority to take part in community service and build stronger philanthropic communities was one of the many reasons that drew me to join a sorority in the first place. Sigma Delta Tau, which was nationally founded in 1917, strongly encourages women to empower women. Our two partnered philanthropies include Jewish Women International (JWI) and Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA).
Sigma Delta Tau was founded by seven, young Jewish women who witnessed discrimination against religious minorities throughout the Greek Life community at the time. With the main idea in mind to empower women, Jewish Women International works to make sure all women and girls of all backgrounds can realize their fullest potential. By working to ensure all women and girls have fundamental rights to live in a safe home and can thrive in healthy relationships. Our second partnered philanthropy is Prevent Child Abuse America. PCAA works to lay the groundwork to provide healthy and happy lives for all children across the country. Their mission is to better growth and development for children by working to prevent abuse and neglect against children throughout the nation.
Cara Petrizzo was recently elected philanthropy chair for our chapter, Gamma Nu, for the upcoming semester.
“One of the aspects that really sold me on joining SDT was learning about our philanthropies. The sister in the position at the time I joined had so much passion and excitement for fundraising for these two wonderful organizations. It made me want to take on a position that allowed me to do the same and better our world by giving back.”
There are a few core fundraising events that SDT chapters all around the nation participate in for PCAA. Pinwheels for Prevention is an annual initiative that is promoted in April for Child Abuse Prevention Month. Many chapters sell and display the blue and silver pinwheels around their campuses. Our chapter, Gamma Nu, sells these pinwheels and offers donors an opportunity to “plant” them in our pinwheel garden which is located in a corner of one of the campus quads. Another semesterly philanthropic initiative our chapter hosts is “ΣΔΤ Your Way Through New Paltz.” For this fundraiser, our chapter collaborates with local eateries in New Paltz to host an event in which a percentage of each customer’s bill is donated. We designate a week for this fundraiser where each day features a different restaurant throughout the village.
It is also inspiring when different companies and organizations come together for a greater cause. Each year, SDT chapters support JWI through its sale of our exclusive Girls Achieve GrΣΔΤness OPI pink nail polish which occurs during October for Domestic Violence Awareness Month. By empowering girls to stand up against violence towards women, our chapters continually share the message to empower one another in order to realize our personal strength. Our chapter will host a semesterly candy gram sale around Halloween and Valentine’s Day in which all proceeds go toward JWI. Our sisters will then go out in groups to deliver these candy grams throughout the day. It is the purpose to further promote JWI’s mission in creating a better world for girls and women everywhere.
Each Greek organization throughout the country has created these special bonds with outside organizations and causes that resonate with them. While Sigma Delta Tau has been able to be a part of changing the world through PCAA and JWI, it is each organizations’ purpose to promote an inclusive collegiate community as well as a better world for all.
Xx, Gillian Hamilton
SUNY New Paltz, Sigma Delta Tau