04.16.12 / Category: Miscellaneous

The Power of “Sorority Girls”

The Southeastern Panhellenic Association (SEPA) has supported the Circle of Sisterhood in various ways and adopted the Foundation as the primary philanthropy for the annual conference this year. The Foundation’s founder Ginny Carroll attended the conference with a small team of volunteers to promote the Foundation and the work we are doing. Here, she tells her experience in her own words:

We were 1,000 sorority women sitting at the philanthropy luncheon in Atlanta during the Southeastern Panhellenic Conference (SEPC). We were listening to Megan Johnson, via Skype, talk about the power of the Circle of Sisterhood. The power to have an impact in places like Tanzania. Johnson is a sorority woman living/working in Tanzania and is the one who connected the Foundation to a classroom in the remote village of Ruhunga. Twelve girls will be moving on in school because of the Circle of Sisterhood and she was speaking to that and the good the Foundation can do for girls and women in developing countries.

You could feel it in the air, it was palpable. You could sense the excitement, the commitment and the sense of responsibility among the women in the room. They knew the  potential they had to do together, regardless of affiliation, and they were committed to do it. After Johnson spoke, I told the audience about what the Circle of Sisterhood was doing to change the future for girls and women living in poverty and oppression. You could hear a pin drop. Then I told them what could  happen if everyone in the room gave just $2 – that 600 girls could get a school lunch for a year; or that 148 girls would have their tuition paid for a year; or that 40 girls could have a full year of schooling with everything they needed (tuition, books, supplies, uniform, lunch everyday)!

An amazing thing happened:

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yix0nfd5v5U]

Two Circle of Sisterhood volunteers attended the conference with me.  Jenny Levering, our Marketing Division Lead said, “The amount of energy at the conference around the Circle of Sisterhood was like nothing I have seen before… the impact we were able to make in just a short few days was truly amazing. I’m honored to have had the experience. Thank you to all SEPC attendees who support the Circle of Sisterhood.”

Claudine Caro, Campus Division Lead said “When I was asked to attend SEPC on behalf of Circle of Sisterhood, I was so proud because I knew that I would be representing a movement that I truly believed in. However, having this be the first Panhellenic conference I would attend, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was so impressed with the women I met. They were driven and enthusiastic about their own sorority, their commitment to their fraternal community, and their true belief that they could make an impact in the world. The moment that really touched me was during the philanthropy luncheon…when given the challenge to pull out two dollars to help girls go to school, all those hands shot up in the air. I had no choice but to wipe my eyes. That gesture, something that was a small sacrifice to the women in the room, was such a powerful gift to girls we may never meet. I am sure that the future will be brighter for all of us because of the opportunities the Circle of Sisterhood efforts will have on girls around the world. The women of SEPC truly inspired me.”

SEPA schools, in one short year, have already donated close to $18,000.  The impact this philanthropic partnership has already had, and has the potential to have, to remove barriers to education for girls around the world is unimaginable! Add this to the sorority communities beyond the southeast making a difference – our work will be transforming for generations to come. To me, this is the epitome of the power of sorority women to contribute to the greater good on a global scale.

We are offering our ‘limited edition’ t-shirts, designed and offered at SEPC, for a short time with an online donation. Click here, follow the directions for a secure credit card donation of a minimum of $15 and enter your preferred size in the ‘purpose’ box on the form. We’ll ship you a shirt to the address on the paypal address! You can also consider a larger quantity order for recruitment counselors or a whole chapter! To do this, simply email blog(at)circleofsisterhood.org. Thanks!

This post was written by Ginny Carroll. In addition to establishing the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation, Carroll operates her own consultancy and frequently speaks, coaches and trains on topics surrounding professional skill development, volunteer training, team building and strategic planning. She is a graduate of Western Kentucky University and when not traveling, her home is Indianapolis, Indiana, and she is an Alpha Xi Delta.