Members of Sigma Kappa Sorority, Theta Phi Chapter, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga have collectively contributed over 17,000 hours of community service in support of various philanthropic projects across the Chattanooga community in 2015.
Kristin Martin, Theta Phi’s Vice President of Philanthropic Service, said, “Service is an integral part of our organization. The 175 women in our chapter have a deep sense of enthusiasm for serving our community and making a difference in our world.
Sigma Kappa provides us with meaningful opportunities to grow that passion while providing us with the tremendous gift of spreading joy and kindness to others.”
She said the sorority has achieved many accomplishments by successfully executing several philanthropic initiatives that primarily focus on Alzheimer’s disease prevention, research, and treatment efforts. Theta Phi was the top fundraising team Chattanooga’s Walk to End Alzheimer’s, raising nearly $6,500. University students participated in Sigma Kappa’s Ultra Violet Campaign through a Trivia Night and Fall Festival events, which collected over $10,000 for the Sigma Kappa Foundation. The Foundation raises funds and awareness for Sigma Kappa’s philanthropic priorities, such as contributions to the Alzheimer’s Association.
This holiday season chapter members delivered over 1,000 wish list items collected during their holiday giving drive to Northside Neighborhood House, Maine Sea Coast Mission, and Love Nancy, a local non-profit that provides respite support to caregivers and their loved one’s living with Alzheimer’s disease. Recently, each member participated in a “Week of Giving” in which they showed appreciation to local fire fighters, visited residents at nursing home facilities, and spread random acts of kindness to University faculty and students.
Additionally, Sigma Kappa planned and executed valuable educational and personal growth programs for University students on topics ranging from career development to encouraging students to take a stand against hazing. Most notably, the chapter recently partnered with Delta Zeta Sorority, UTC’s Counseling Services, 1n3, and Step Up! to sponsor the “I Have a Choice” campaign to create awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving and promote bystander intervention. Over 600 students participated in field sobriety test simulations, calculated BAC levels, and took a pledge to never drink under the influence. A large scale evening event took place in which, Tiki Finlayson, co-founder of 1n3, shared her personal story of the loss of her son, Kevin Yates, in a drinking and driving accident. Harrison Warren, a student at UTC, courageously told his story of how driving while drunk forever changed his life. Over 500 students attended and were impacted by the powerful message.
Jessica Bastianelli, Vice President of Programming who helped plan the event, knows first-hand the value of serving the campus community by offering programs that are student led. “As a member of Sigma Kappa, we are committed to providing opportunities for personal growth and finding emotional connections for our members that resonate with them. This campaign truly demonstrates how just one individual can have a powerful impact on the lives of others.”