By Shauna Prentice, Member Development and Education Manager 2017-12-22 14:51:33
Across the country, Kappa Deltas can be found planting pinwheel gardens, painting banners, cooking pancakes, selling concert tickets and prepping race courses all for the same cause: the prevention of child abuse. Since 1981, Kappa Delta and Prevent Child Abuse America have partnered to strive toward healthy childhoods for kids everywhere, raising awareness for the issue and supporting vital education and resources for families. Kappa Delta has given more than $22 million to the cause of child abuse prevention. While 20 percent of those funds support Prevent Child Abuse America, the other 80 percent stays in the local communities, ensuring members' efforts are felt wherever Kappa Delta is. Both collegiate and alumnae chapters host Shamrock events to raise funds and awareness for child abuse prevention. Sometimes, a joint event between the two groups can be more successful – and more fun! Since Eta Omega-Kennesaw State was established in 2012, the chapter has partnered with the Greater Atlanta Day Alumnae Chapter to host a Shamrock 5K that benefits local Wellspring Living Atlanta and PCAA. Held in early March every year, the event brings over 1,000 participants dressed in green and excited to run for such an important cause. Eta Omega has built a strong relationship with the campus community, with the majority of participants being fellow students and members of fraternities and sororities. Community members and families of the chapter members also turn out for the 5K, which includes an option for a shorter fun run. Eta Omega and GADAC members credit their success to two things: event-planning skills and a passionate group of women. After five years of hosting their Shamrock 5K, most recently raising $37,403, committee members have event-planning skills down. And the passion from collegians and alumnae alike is strong. The local beneficiary, Wellspring Living Atlanta, aids and rehabilitates young women who have been victims of human sex trafficking. "THE MEMBERS OF GREATER ATLANTA DAY PROFIT FROM THE ENTHUSIASM AND ENERGY OF THE COLLEGIATE MEMBERS, AND THE COLLEGIATE MEMBERS GAIN EXPERIENCE AND FORESIGHT OF THE ALUMNAE." DOROTHY MEARS, ALUMNAE CHAPTER SPECIALIST AND GADAC MEMBER Atlanta is the largest human trafficking city in the U.S., and the majority of the victims are children. As Kappa Deltas have built a relationship with Wellspring Living and gotten to know the work the organization does for the community, their commitment to improving the lives of these girls has only deepened. Describing her chapter's passion, Michela Noviello, Eta Omega VP-community service, says: "Without our individual chapter members' excitement and willingness to raise funds, we wouldn't be able to give back the way we do. Eta Omega has more to learn, but I am so proud of all that we have accomplished in our five years." A co-hosted event between a collegiate and alumnae chapter provides a unique opportunity for sisterhood, mentorship and efficiency. Working together to plan and execute an event of this magnitude guarantees long nights, hard work and plenty of laughs. For the members of Eta Omega, and especially for Michela, the experience was impactful. "Having their wisdom and guidance in our planning process made a huge difference in the success of our event. From helping us get our race qualified, to sharing knowledge on sponsorships, to showing up early on race day ready to help in any way, we couldn't have done it without [Greater Atlanta Day]," Michela says. "Working with them was really special because, though we are in completely different places in our lives, the friendship we created over the months of planning just goes to show that the passion we share for Wellspring Living and PCA America bonded us as sisters." The members of Greater Atlanta Day find the partnership meaningful, too. The alumnae chapter president, Joy McVey Hugick, says: "It has been an honor and a pleasure to provide support and mentorship to the group as a whole and to collegians individually. Watching our joint Shamrock event and the chapter itself grow and flourish has exceeded any expectations we could have had in the beginning. It is a gift watching them succeed and thrive, both as a chapter and as women going out into the world." Dorothy Mears, a GADAC member who also serves as a volunteer on the Alumnae National Leadership Team, shares similar feelings on her involvement with Eta Omega. "I have worked with Eta Omega since the race began. The members of Greater Atlanta Day profit from the enthusiasm and energy of the collegiate members, and the collegiate members gain experience and foresight of the alumnae. This is a special partnership that provides all parties with great benefits." The partnership between Eta Omega and Greater Atlanta Day has been beneficial for the members of these chapters, as well as for the Atlanta community. Their efforts were recognized at the 2017 National Convention with the Patricia Beecham Nieman Shamrock Award for a joint event. This event and the partnership and sisterhood between Eta Omega and Greater Atlanta Day demonstrate perfectly what former National President Elizabeth Corbett Gilbert said in 1921 about the purpose of Kappa Delta's philanthropy work: "We need some concrete means of giving back to the world in service what has been given us through friendship." The mentorship and friendship experienced by the members of these two groups is special, and it is fitting that they would pay that forward by giving to the Atlanta community in return.
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