Sisters Helping Sisters Takes on New Meaning After Harvey

This week THE Foundations Seminar is taking place in Indianapolis. Established in the 1990s, the Seminar has “provided fraternal foundation professionals and volunteers with a forum to collaborate on issues unique to advancing their organization’s missions.” Those meeting in Indy this week will have had the opportunity to hear three keynote speakers and take part in “36 educational sessions focused on working with data, digital fundraising, branding, engagement, donor retention, and many other key and emerging issues and trends affecting our organizations.”

I’d venture to say that almost all, if not all, GLO Foundations offer academic scholarships. During the 2015-16 academic year, the 26 National Panhellenic Conference member groups (and/or their foundations) provided more than $5 million dollars in academic scholarships to their members to pursue undergraduate, graduate, and professional studies. In addition, most of the groups fund emergency grants to members. The recent flooding in Texas bring this kind of philanthropy to the forefront.

In the early 1900s, many of the NPC groups established Loan Funds to help their members pay for schooling, in a time when loan options were very limited. Additionally, other funds to help members in need were created.

Since 1922, the Rose McGill Aid has helped Kappa Kappa Gamma members in need. The same can be said for Kappa Alpha Theta’s Friendship Fund, established in 1926. Pi Beta Phi’s Emma Harper Turner Fund began in 1946 as a way for Pi Phis to help other Pi Phis confidentially and anonymously. 

Rose McGill, for whom Kappa Kappa Gamma’s assistance fund is named, is third from the right in the back row in this 1920 picture of the University of Toronto Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter.

Among the programs available for collegians and alumnae members in need are:

Alpha Chi Omega’s Member Assistance Grants

Alpha Delta Pi’s Abigail Davis Emergency Grants (for collegiate members) and Clasped Hands Fund Grants (for alumnae)

Alpha Epsilon Phi’s Cheryl Kraff Cooper, M.D, Giraffe Fund

Alpha Gamma Delta’s SIS Grant Program

Alpha Omicron Pi’s Ruby Fund

Alpha Phi’s Forget Me Not Fund

Alpha Sigma Alpha’s Janice Adams Membership Assistance Fund

Alpha Xi Delta’s Heart Fund Grants

Chi Omega’s Sisterhood Fund

Delta Delta Delta’s Crescent Fund

Delta Gamma’s Anchor Grants 

Delta Phi Epsilon’s Harriette Hirsch Sisterhood Fund

Delta Zeta’s Elizabeth Coulter Stephenson Grants (providing financial help for sorority expenses)

Gamma Phi Beta’s Grant-In-Aid

Kappa Alpha Theta’s Friendship Fund

Kappa Delta’s Alumnae Crisis Fund

Kappa Kappa Gamma Rose McGill Fund

Phi Mu’s Leona Hughes Hughes Heart & Hand Fund and the Betty Nell Wilkinson Emergency Scholarship

Pi Beta Phi’s Emma Harper Turner Fund

Sigma Kappa’s Alumnae Heart Fund

I hope those living through the torment of Hurricane Harvey will avail themselves of any aid for which they are eligible, especially any of these specialized programs targeting initiated members of their respective organizations. This is the time for sisters to help sisters in any way they can.

(I have tried my best to cobble the information together. If I have misrepresented any of these funds or have forgotten others, please send me a message and I will revise. Any errors and omissions are unintentional.)

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