Guest Blogger Emily, Butler
This past year, collegiate Kappas raised more than $600,000 through philanthropy events and donated more than 140,650 philanthropy hours to campus and local service projects. Kappa Kappa Gamma has a long history of giving back to those who need it the most, whether that be through our national philanthropic partner, Reading Is Fundamental, community programs, or the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation.
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF)
Chapters should hold at least one event each year to promote children’s literacy for Reading Is Fundamental. Kappas at Rollins College go to a local elementary school (where 80% of students are on a free or reduced-lunch program) each semester with books and boxed lunches. Members guide the students through a related craft, eat lunch with the students, and give the students an additional meal to take home for the weekend, along with their new books. This year, the books purchased for the event actually raised money for a second philanthropy, multiplying the chapter’s philanthropic contribution.
Signature Philanthropy Events
Each chapter should have a signature fundraising event each year, one that has the potential to be well-known in the community or is already successful each year. Chapters can then choose the charity that the event will benefit. This past year, Kappas raised more than $560,000 through signature philanthropy events.
University of San Diego Kappas honor Breast Cancer Awareness Month each October with Breastival, a carnival-style event that promotes awareness and raises money for the Scripps Breast Cancer Research Center. The week includes events such as a bra slingshot and the popular America’s Breast Dance Crew, a humorous dance competition that includes students from the USD community.
Kappas from Johns Hopkins partnered with Beta Theta Pi fraternity to host a cook-off competition between fraternities and sororities and chose to donate the money to RIF. Fraternities competed for the best burger, while sororities competed for the best dessert. The chapter charged an admission fee but gave guests the option to donate canned food to the Maryland Food Bank instead.
Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation
Kappas are encouraged to incorporate fundraising for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Foundation into their existing fundraising efforts. Consider donating a portion of proceeds raised from a signature event to the Foundation. Also, if your chapter participates in another group’s philanthropy event that gives money to winning teams’ philanthropies, consider donating any money won to the Kappa Foundation. This past year, collegiate chapters donated more than $91,000 to support the Foundation and its programs.
Interested in Starting a New Philanthropy Event?
Research events being done on other campuses and think about how you could make them work on yours. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice if you know another group that has done something similar. Think about the best way to promote it on your campus, whether it’s through social media, campus bulletin boards or a campus newsletter.
Consider finding sponsors from the community that can offset the costs of the event. With a signature event, the goal is to create something that is recognized annually as a campus event, so pick a catchy name that you can use year after year. Finally, choose a cause—maybe it’s something that your chapter already supports, or maybe it’s a new cause in the community.
The new and improved Kappa.org has a section just for sharing officer ideas where you can share your best philanthropy events. Make sure you’re logged in, and you can see what your fellow Kappas are doing to promote philanthropy in their chapters, or you can submit your own philanthropy success stories!
Guest Blogger Emily, Butler
This school year, thousands of young women will make the choice to go through Recruitment and find sisters and friends for life in one of the 26 National Panhellenic Conference organizations.
Sisters Kristen and Jamie, Creighton, remember Jamie’s formal Recruitment vividly, when Kristen was serving as Eta Iota Chapter’s Membership Chairman and Jamie was going through formal Recruitment as a freshman.
It took Kristen a while to realize that her little sister Jamie could also potentially become her Kappa sister. “It didn’t hit me until Christmas time, because we have deferred Recruitment. It added a little extra stress being Membership Chair. It made me want to do the very best job I could do and get the girls in the chapter excited.”
Jamie didn’t always plan on going through formal Recruitment, but she decided to give it a try. “I got involved with some other activities first semester, but I thought that there was something else missing from my college experience, something else that I should be doing.” Jamie was excited to experience all of the sororities for herself and form her own opinions, but she always kept Kappa at the back of her mind and knew by the end of the week that she wanted to be a Kappa with her sister.
As Membership Chairman, Kristen knew the night before that her little sister was going to walk through the door as a Kappa on Bid Day. “I was antsy waiting for her. I remember when she walked in the door, I ran up to her and said ‘put on this T-shirt, you’re a Kappa!’”
Jamie’s advice for women participating in Recruitment this year is to keep an open mind. “Even if you have family or friends who are in sororities already, keep your mind open,” she says. “If it doesn’t feel right during Recruitment, it probably won’t feel right when you actually join.”
Kristen believes Recruitment can be a bonding period for chapters. “It’s good for rejuvenating the love of Kappa,” she says. “It’s good to come back together and remember this is why we’re here, to get new sisters and to continue our chapters.”
Do you have a legacy (sister, daughter, granddaughter or great-granddaughter) participating in formal Recruitment this year? Fill out our Legacy Notification Form and send it to her school’s chapter. If you want to write a reference for a woman participating in Recruitment, send a reference form to her school’s chapter. Contact information for chapters can be found using the chapter search tool on the Kappa website. Recruitment information and ideas for chapters participating in Recruitment is available in the members section of the website.
The Ohio State University and Kappa Kappa Gamma have something special in common—both were founded in 1870! (And KKG Headquarters is just a few miles from the OSU campus.)
It seems only fitting that 18 years later, our Beta Nu Chapter was the first women’s fraternity chapter established at Ohio State. A Columbus newspaper dated October 12, 1888, reported: “The organization was perfected at the residence of Miss Bell Slade on Hamilton Avenue … ‘Nu’ is the name of the chapter and the pin is a small enameled gold key inlaid with stones. The ladies believe they have good prospects for a flourishing chapter.”
The “Nu” was changed to Beta Nu by a vote of the 1890 General Convention to distinguish the chapter from the Nu of Franklin College, Indiana, which had lived briefly from 1879 to 1894.
Housing and World War I
In 1916, a small apartment was rented and furniture was donated by Columbus-area alumnae. During World War I, male students who had not joined the service were required, as members of the ROTC (Reserve Officers Training Corps), to live in temporary barracks erected on campus. Rather than close the Phi Gamma Delta house, the president offered it to the Kappas.
Many girls left school to fill positions left open by men who had enlisted, and others were on call for nurses’ training. Beta Nu and the Columbus Alumnae Association collected clothing for chapter member Dorothy Canfield Fisher’s Dispensaire in France in addition to rolling bandages and knitting socks. The chapter pledged $500 to the YWCA, raising money by making and selling sandwiches to the fraternities after Monday night meetings, and other fundraising projects.
After the war, the Kappas and Delta Gammas leased and shared an apartment at 16th Avenue and High Street. In 1920, a six-room apartment was rented at 24 15th Avenue. The Beta Nu Building Associations was formed in 1921, and in September of 1922 a house was purchased for $12,360 at 90 13th Avenue, the first to be owned by a women’s fraternity at Ohio State. It was occupied by eight members and a housemother.
With the increase in the number of out-of-town girls, a larger house was purchased in 1926 at 84 15th Avenue, the street that had always been known as “the gate to the campus.” The purchase price of $30,000 was raised with the help of a loan from the Fraternity. Ten actives and a housemother used its one family-sized bathroom. A third floor with a chapter room and smaller rooms for Initiation was considered to be “posh,” although fainting in the heat of Initiation was standard procedure.
In 1936, “ … with the mortgage reduced and the income increased,” to quote from the January 1937 Banta’s Greek Exchange, the work of remodeling this former family home into a sorority house was accomplished. Once again, Kappa was first with a “real” sorority house. An addition provided housing for 15 members, larger bathroom facilities, a housemother’s suite with a bath, a large living room, larger kitchen and dining facilities, a basement chapter room, and in tune with the times, a parking lot in the rear.
World War II Years
Class ranks were disrupted as men entered branches of the armed forces or were drafted into the service. Many coeds chose to enlist, also, as WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service-Navy), WASPS (Women’s Air Force Service Pilots), and WACS (Women’s Army Corps.) Some, like Jane Emig (Ford) who served with the Red Cross in Burma and India, were sent overseas. The chapter house buzzed with excitement whenever a member on official leave returned for a visit.
Beta Nus filled their extra-curricular hours with letter-writing to friends and sweethearts in the service, knitting items in drab green, which was requested by the government, tending Victory Gardens, which sprang up in unlikely places in a civilian attempt to replace rationed and hard-to-get food items. Several Kappas participated on the War Entertainment Board, an organization of collegians who wrote and produced, and danced in a variety show that entertained ASTP (Army Specialized Training Program), Navy V-12, and Lockbourne Airbase trainees. Others were active in SWAVes (a branch of the Student War Bond Board), which sold war stamps, registered blood donors, and sponsored classes for nurses’ aid and first aid.
College women wore knee-length skirts and “sloppy Joe” sweaters, many of which had been spirited away from the closets of absent service-bound brothers and boyfriends. Not only did coeds borrow men’s clothing, they also took over as officers of organizations that traditionally had been headed by men. The 1944 Makio (yearbook) asked, “Will they (the women) be willing to turn things back to the men when they return?”
Kappa actives and alumnae also volunteered at USO (United Service Organization) canteens and the Kappa Service Women’s Centers in Chittenden Hotel. It was one of 14 Kappa-sponsored centers across the U.S. Kappa projects supported the Nora Waln Fund for bombed-out families in England, and Columbus women spent countless hours creating baby clothes for layettes, which were sent to Norway through the fund.
More growing pains brought about the purchase of an old house at 55 East 15th Avenue to be used for an annex until money could be raised to build the Kappa “dream house” on the new site. A goal of $30,000 was set by the alumnae association and the struggle began. Through rummage sales, bake sales, bridge and bingo parties, redemption of state sales, tax stamps, the compilation of a Beta Nu Directory, and many other projects, they reached their goal! A loan from Hazel Zeller Nesbitt gave a boost to the project. The interest was donated to the chapter later. Construction started in 1950 and the house was ready in the fall of 1952 at a cost of $225,000, including furnishing and landscaping. The house at 84 East 15th Avenue was sold to Zeta Tau Alpha for $57,000.
Clara O. Pierce stands at the top of Beta Nu’s list of outstanding members. She served as Executive Secretary (now known as Executive Director) from January 1, 1929, until January 1, 1969. The Gracious Living Award is given in her honor at Fraternity General Conventions and a memorial scholarship for graduate study was established in her name.
-- excerpted from The History of Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity, 1870-1976.
By Guest Blogger Emily, Butler, Fraternity Headquarters Intern
Summer is a great time to start a new volunteer project or get more involved in one. If you’re a student and not taking summer classes, most likely you have a more relaxed schedule during the summer months. What better way to fill some free time than with philanthropy?
If you’re spending the summer in a different city than you spend the school year, a volunteer project is an easy way to help feel connected to a new community. Some fun ideas for summer philanthropy projects include working with animal shelters, community gardens or city parks.
- Animal shelters: According to the Humane Society of the United States, animal shelters care for an estimated 6-8 million dogs and cats every year. Visit The Shelter Pet Project to find the closest shelter, or look in the phonebook under “animal shelter” or “humane society.” Many shelters use volunteers to play or exercise with shelter animals or to help with basic office work.
- Community gardens: Find a nearby community garden with the help of the American Community Garden Association. A community garden might need basic maintenance volunteers if it is already established. If there isn’t one nearby, the ACGA provides helpful tips for starting one.
- City parks: Visit your city or town’s parks department website and search for volunteer opportunities. Many parks need volunteers to preserve trails or open spaces, and many parks also offer classes or day camps that need volunteers, especially during the summer.
If you’re looking for something different, it’s easy to find new philanthropy opportunities in your area with volunteer matching and virtual volunteering websites.
- Volunteer Match allows you to search for local or virtual opportunities by interest area, like animals, arts, youth or the environment. You can also search specifically for group volunteer activities, which is great when looking for something you and a group of sisters or friends can do together!
- Sparked is a volunteer matching website that focuses on virtual volunteering opportunities. When users create an account, they list their interests and skills (like blogging, graphic design, legal, fundraising, etc.) and Sparked matches them up with projects requested by nonprofits. For instance, if one of your skills is graphic design, Sparked might suggest designing a new logo for a group that says it needs one.
- If none of these options look interesting, United We Serve makes it easy to start your own volunteer projects. Choose from a list of projects, like supporting a food bank or organizing a book drive, and the toolkits go through the step-by-step process specific to each cause. The toolkits present basic facts about the causes and advice to find support for each project.