Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Message From the Chairman: Volunteering - The Heart of Sorority Membership

At age 90, my role model and mentor continues to provide volunteer service to her community, church and sorority. A dedicated and selfless volunteer for well over 70 years with humble beginnings in eastern Montana, she can still be found distributing lunches to small children, butter and cheese to seniors, and coffee on Sunday morning to parishioners. She is … my mom.

Scientific studies have shown that individuals who volunteer enjoy both physiological and physical health benefits including greater satisfaction, improved sense of belonging, lower blood pressure and decreased mortality. More than 62 million Americans — one quarter of the adult population — contribute approximately 8 billion hours yearly to causes close to their hearts. In honor and celebration of the many people who generously give of their time and resources, April is designated National Volunteer Month and April 23-29 National Volunteer Week, specifically.

National Volunteer Week has a history in Canada dating back to World War II, when women were celebrated for their part in supporting the war effort on the home front. In 1974, then U.S. President Richard Nixon signed a Presidential Proclamation establishing National Volunteer Week. Annually, the sitting president issues a special proclamation in honor of volunteers.

The National Panhellenic Conference (NPC), and its 26 women’s organizations salute the contributions of countless women volunteers — those individuals who mobilize men and women to take action and those who give countless hours to make a difference in their communities and the world. Consider:
Volunteer service is at the heart of the sorority membership experience. In 2015-16 collectively, the 26 inter/national NPC sororities reported nearly 3 million hours of member volunteer service in support of nonprofit organizations. To operate their organizations, a volunteer base of approximately 46,000 women work daily in partnership with professional staffs to support the sororities and their members. The opportunities are countless for women, and the contributions made are immeasurable in terms of economic impact and resources.

Thank you to all who volunteer from 90 to 19 and younger. Consider the possibilities within your community to seek out ways to engage, step up, share your skills and experience the satisfaction of volunteering to make a difference.


Donna C. King
Chairman 2015-17