The Theta Phi Chapter of Sigma Kappa Sorority at UTC successfully achieved one of their primary goals of giving back to the community over the past year. The sorority, consisting of nearly 180 women, was honored to be named the organization with the “Most Outstanding Community Service” at the 2013 SGA Banquet. This award is given to the campus organization that is dedicated to serving the University and the Chattanooga community.
The Alzheimer’s Association and gerontology, the study of aging are two of the sorority’s national philanthropies. This year, members held a Valentine’s Day party at the Life Care Center of Red Bank where residents enjoyed socializing with members as they delivered handmade to the residents. This fall, Theta Phi volunteered with the local Alzheimer’s Association during their annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s by raising approximately $1,000, volunteering with registration, and assisting with activities during their annual events.
“As we have added new elements to enhance our walk experience, our need for volunteers has increased significantly," said Cindy Lowery, vice president of Operations at the Alzheimer's Association. "Our (yes we call them "ours") Sigma Kappa girls show up in force and do everything we ask of them and more. Our Chattanooga Walk to End Alzheimer's broke $100K for the first time in 2012 and doubled that to over $200K this year and they have been with us every step of the way. We could not do it without them. They bring spirit, enthusiasm, compassion, fun and a lot of "woman" power to our event, as well as raising funds to support the cause and help find a cure."
In October, the chapter held their Ultra Violet Week where members of the UTC community helped raise nearly $2,600 that was donated to the Sigma Kappa Foundation support Alzheimer’s disease research. The week included events for students to participate in such as a softball tournament and a “Dove in Disguise” pageant.
During their annual “Week of Giving,” chapter members gave back to the campus and local community in a variety of ways. Cookies were delivered to professors and faculty members, members participated in a neighborhood cleanup, and fellow students were surprised on campus with homemade muffins and goodie bags. Throughout the year sisters volunteered for many local events ranging from the American Heart Association’s Heart Ball to the American Suicide Prevention Association Walk.
Jennie Sumrell, Theta Phi’s Advisory Board Chairman shared, “The women of Theta Phi know that an expectation of them as a member is to live our core value of service. They make a tremendous impact on our community and work extremely hard each year to give back to others. I’m beyond proud of what they have accomplished this year.”
Closing out the year, members and local alumnae collected nearly 500 gifts to share with the Maine Sea Coast Mission and the Northside Neighborhood House for their holiday giving programs. "Our Santa's Workshop allows parents who have fallen on hard times to make the season brighter for their children," said Rachel Gammon, executive director of Northside Neighborhood House. "Thanks to the generosity of the women of Sigma Kappa, more parents will be able to provide their children with toys this year.”
Theta Phi members have collectively given over 3,600 community services hours to the Chattanooga community during 2013 and donated over $9,700 to campus organizations, local community, and to the Sigma Kappa Foundation in support of their five national philanthropies.
“I’m blessed to be part of an organization that is so deeply committed to community service, philanthropy projects, and civil engagement,” shared Vice President of Philanthropic Services of Theta Phi, Nicole Coppinger. “The Theta Phi Chapter of Sigma Kappa is much deeper than just a social organization. We dedicate our four years in college to personal growth, friendship, loyalty, and service- preparing us to be valuable and engaged citizens in our future.”
Theta Phi supports the Chattanooga Area Alzheimer’s Association at their annual Walk to End Alzheimer’s.