The Erie Alumnae Chapter Helps Women in Their Community Thrive
At the 41st National Convention in 2016, Alpha Sigma Tau announced our new philanthropy, the Women’s Wellness Initiative. The Initiative empowers Sisters to impact women’s wellness in their communities by working with National Service Partners like Dress for Success®.
Inspired, the Erie Alumnae Chapter in Pennsylvania immediately sprang into action. They held a donation drive for Dress for Success’ Erie affiliate, followed later by a clothing drive.
“There is a natural connection between Alpha Sigma Tau and Dress for Success,” says Juliann Worden, Delta Alpha and the chapter’s Recording Secretary. “There’s a flow. We are both trying to create wellness in women.”
Juliann got to know the affiliate’s Executive Director, Mary Graziano, and the two formed a fast bond.
“She was very excited when we reached out,” Juliann recalls. “So, when they lost a large corporate donor, we were glad to step in and help.”
Alumnae Chapter President Shauna Jackson, Delta Alpha, teaches local Jazzercise classes. They had an idea to host a community Jazzercise session where participants could make donations.
“Physical wellness is a component of the Women’s Wellness Initiative,” Shauna says. “So, it was easy to incorporate physical wellness with Dress for Success’ focus, occupational wellness.”
The chapter held their event in April. They opened it up to friends, family, the community at-large, and their collegiate Sisters at the Delta Alpha Chapter at nearby Gannon University – where Juliann also serves as Assistant Chapter Advisor. Mary also attended, and brought another Dress for Success staff member with her.
“They loved it and was excited to be a part,” Shana recalls. “There were a lot of sweaty hugs afterwards!”
The Erie Alumnae Chapter and Dress for Success-Erie plan to continue their partnership. Upcoming plans, among others, include another Jazzercise session and a 5K.
“Partnerships like this are easy to start, if you just reach out,” says Juliann. “They not only benefit women in both organizations, but they make a local impact as well. The money raised in Erie stays in Erie.”
“Reaching out is critical,” concurs Shauna. “Get in touch with your local Dress for Success affiliates. They each have different specific needs, and understanding those allows you to make the biggest impact. Helping organizations like Dress for Success applies the values of our Sisterhood to our communities.”
Visit Dress for Success’ website to find a National Service Partner affiliate near you.