Testimonial: Newark Manor by Mackenzie Janus

Newark Manor was the first project I attended as an MIT. At the time, I didn’t really know a whole lot about it or their purpose, but I knew I would be working with the elderly and that the project fit my class and work schedule. We walked in and were greeted by the friendliest staff. They were so appreciative of just our simple presence and willingness to help out, I was immediately excited about what we were going to get into.

While we were there, we assisted residents with finding their numbers to cover playing Bingo and socializing with other residents, and just made conversation between the two of us. Beyond my own grandparents, I had never worked with people their age on a more personal level, so I was unsure of how to appropriately assist them as to not be overbearing and allow for them to make their own decisions while still helping, but I figured it out. It’s not as scary as you’d think. The light I saw in my Bingo partner’s eyes when she realized someone was visiting her and spending time with just her, just because, was just the best feeling in the world. We laughed and talked, and my Bingo partner would tease other residents. A couple hours flew by, and it was time for us to go. I hugged my partner goodbye and told her I would be visiting again. She was so happy, and that made me happy.
This opportunity opened my eyes to what service is really all about.  I fell in love with service that day (yes, playing Bingo with the elderly!) and I am forever thankful for the residents of Newark Manor with their spunky, uplifting personalities, and their genuine happiness just to spend time with a stranger. It has changed my life; I have a (fairly) new found passion that effects more than just me in so many positive ways, and I will take that with me beyond UD and Gamma Sig. Since my first project, I’ve tried my best to make a difference in as many lives as my time allows.
The smallest things can make the biggest impact.
So much gamma love,
Mackenzie Janus

Do You Want to be Featured on the Blog?

Hello to all my lovely sisters AND baby beta lambdas!

Have you been on a particularly inspiring service project? Have you gone to a really fun unity event? How about an event relating to our philanthropy, service partners, or impact areas?

If you answered yes to any of these questions and you would like to share your experience with the sisterhood (and pledges), write a testimonial for the blog!

What’s a testimonial? It’s an short personal anecdote about anything gamma sig related that will be posted on the blog in your name! Yes, you can write a post for the blog! We want everyone, sisters and pledges alike, to be able to contribute to the blog.

If you would like to write a testimonial, email Jessica Johnson or either one of our motivation/testimonials bloggers, Mackenzie Winn or Amelia Hamilton!

Relay for Life

A way to a cure is out there!
A way to a cure is out there!

Gamma Sigma Sigma has participated in numerous service events regularly, but out of all the service projects I have attended, Relay for Life is one I hold most dear in my heart. So many people are affected by cancer, and this is a great way to support them and their families and to raise money towards research to finding a cure. It was such a great experience because there were so many of us there, over 100 girls came and participated in the walk. When I first arrived at the event, all I could see were masses of adorable Up-themed purple shirts. There was such a great Gamma Sig presence at Relay, and it was so awesome to walk with my fellow sisters. The atmosphere of the event was fun, there was music playing, the walking was very leisurely, and the hot dogs and pizza were also a plus. The memorial and luminaria service at night was touching and moving; it is safe to say I shed a few tears in memory of the lives lost to cancer, as well as many smiles for those who beat cancer and are still alive and well today. Relay for Life was a great event, and even though it did not go on as long as originally planned, there was still a lot of money raised for the event and a lot of fun had because of it. I can’t wait for Relay next year, and for all the fun times and cute pictures to come.

Spirit Day!!!

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On Saturday April 6th five girls from our chapter attended Gamma Sigma Sigma’s Moravian College Epsilon Xi Chapter’s Spirit Day. We had a BLAST. There were members there from 7 Chapters and 3 different Districts with their overall membership numbers varying from 11 to 200+! We were all split into smaller groups at first to play some ice breakers and get to know each other better. We shared brief information about ourselves and talked about some of our favorite things about Gamma Sig. It was so fun hearing about what traditions other chapters have. When Epsilon Xi does their Big/Little reveal they have all the Bigs stand in a big room, tie one end of a yarn ball to each of the them and make a giant web of string around the room. Later, every Little is given the string that leads to their Big and they all have to follow their string trail until they find their Big. That is literally SO CUTE and probably so fun and confusing! We played trivia games that tested our Gamma Sig knowledge and we learned really interesting things about Gamma Sig that we never knew. For instance, did you GSS has three different meanings? Or that our sorority gems are pearls and garnets? Or that the building we were founded in was actually called Beekman Tower and not Beekman TowerS as we all think? Is your mind blown? Yup, mine too. We had a representative from every Chapter give a brief presentation about the kinds of things their chapter does and what makes them special. One Chapter had a Gamma Sig chant, another participated in a 46-hour dance marathon to raise money for cancer every year, and another was comprised completely of alumni who meet every month and do local service all year round! Before and after lunch we all took some time to make special letter shirts. They must have had over 100 swatches of the cutest fabrics ever for us to choose from and make shirts with. I’d always been super nervous about making an iron-on letter shirt, but the girls there who did them all the time were so helpful and mine ended up coming out awesome!! The letters were straight, I didn’t make any mistakes, and I didn’t burn myself so I’d say that’s a great success! And of course what kind of Gamma Sig gathering would it be if we did not do a little SERVICE? We all hung out together in the afternoon and made 116 beautiful bracelets for Easter Seals to give out as prizes at a future event of theirs. Spirit Day was awesome and I’m so happy that I had the opportunity to go. We met so many amazing members from Penn State’s Tau ChapterDuquesne’s Gamma Delta Chapter, Mid-Jersey Shore Alumni Chapter, Gemini Alumni Chapter, Drexel’s Zeta Chapter and Moravian’s Epsilon Xi Chapter who all shared amazing stories. I really hope I get to see many of them again, maybe at convention! Thank you Epsilon Xi, Katy Owens and Amanda Cavoto for inviting us and making it a once in a life time opportunity!!

So proud to be a Gamma Sig Girl,
Laura

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Some Quick Gamma Love!

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I am honored to call myself a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma!  In this sorority I have gained a sense of belonging and responsibility that will stay with me the rest of my life, and I am fortunate to have the responsibilty of being the co-executive chair for UDance!  When I decided to join Gamma Sig I had no idea that I would enjoy being apart of this sorority so

much!  This wonderful experience has made me realize the true meaning of unity and service.
xoxo
Rachel Grimm

More love from sister and UDance co-chair Rachel Grimm

I am honored to call myself a member of Gamma Sigma Sigma!  In this sorority I have gained a sense of belonging and responsibility that will stay with me the rest of my life, and I am fortunate to have the responsibilty of being the co-executive chair for UDance!  When I decided to join Gamma Sig I had no idea that I would enjoy being apart of this sorority so much!  This wonderful experience has made me realize the true meaning of unity and service.
 
xoxo
Rachel Grimm

A Beautiful Sentiment from sister Andrea Vilorio

Joining Gamma Sig has been one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. It is a life changing experience that I concluded to on my own. As a person, I struggled with who I should be and how to behave. Gamma Sig allows me to do what I love to do which is serve. Community service defines who I am and I am so grateful to have joined this sorority. Thanks girls for giving me this opportunity. ♥

Blast from the Past!!

Here is an email from an alumni (Class of 1983!!) about her memories in Gamma Sig!

“Forget best memories in college — my Gamma Sig sisters (and the corresponding brothers of APO) gave me directly or indirectly just about every good memory from my days at Delaware, which, as we went through choosing colleges, told my daughter is like Disney World, the happiest place on Earth.
It seems hard to comprehend that going to Rush was a complete fluke, and although those $35 in dues were a hardship (because everything I earned during the summer went towards high school and later college tuition) how lucky I am that Sharon Tandy dragged me there so she wouldn’t have to go herself and “it would look good on a resume.” Gamma Sig gave me the opportunity to be and to be appreciated for who I am. I loved our projects, I loved the people who chose Gamma Sig and APO, and after 25+ years, four corporate relocations, and a lot of life, they are the only people I still know from college. Last year I got back together with friends I literally hadn’t seen since 1986, and it was if time had stood still.
My favorite memories have to be from Rockwood Museum. They held an annual haunted house, which I chaired my first semester as an active sister. To say I was over my head was an understatement, but you would never know from the overwhelming success. When I pledged the previous Spring, there were only 17 sisters, and that semester there were 20 clueless pledges, so experience and numbers were NOT on my side. We had done it as a joint project with ZBT, and Rockwood paired us with Delmarva Power and Light Employee Association, and it went from being little with no budget to being huge (complete with handicap accessible emergency exits)! I am completely non-mechanical, and when I realized we needed help and ZBT wasn’t hearing us, our APO brothers came in to the rescue and the result was unbelievable! In that semester I learned how to manage, how to ask for help (and how not to), and how to adapt to the unexpected and fly by the seat of my pants. In the midst of all of this, I had broken up with my first love (kicked that ZBT to the curb after six months, a week and twelve hours but who was counting LOL), dropped 20 pounds in two weeks because I couldn’t eat lunch without throwing up (and I refused to change dining halls and instead faced my fears), and Gamma Sig and APO helped me go from feeling like a loser to forever changing how I feet about myself and my life. I remember waking up the Friday morning and saying, “Oh my God — the semi is tomorrow and I don’t have a date” to Saturday morning’s, “Oh my God — the semi is tonight and I have 3 dates!” I knew only Sharon when I pledged, yet they are the ones who were there for me then and through every challenge I’ve ever had, whether they know it or not.
My life has been one big roller coaster with unbelievable twists and turns and my ability to not only survive but thrive has come from growing up from a little girl to a force of nature with Gamma Sig, and I wouldn’t trade those years for ANYTHING!”
Gamma Love,
Rosemary Gallagher Maul
Theta Pledge Class (Fall of 1983)

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Some Senior Year Love from Cat!

After my freshman year in college I wanted to find something to help me better my experience at UDel, (to become involved in something other than my social life). Thankfully, I stumbled upon Gamma Sig. I am so fortunate to have found this group of fantastic girls whom I am happy to call my sisters. I’ve always been very involved, whether it be on committees or on the executive board. I’ve learned a lot about myself through helping others and I am forever appreciative. I’ll always remember the fun times I’ve had on projects, during unity events, and through meeting some of my best friends. I’m going to miss everyone so much once I graduate but I’ll always be a gamma sig sister at heart.

 

-A shout out from one of our most involved and lovable sister Cat Battaglia. We’ll miss her terribly when she graduates. Gamma Love to one our best