Gamma Upsilon-Wichita State Does Good
By Emma Mathews, Epsilon-Ohio State
In light of World Sight Day on October 14, Delta Gamma honors our philanthropy, Service for Sight, as well as our sisters that dedicate their time supporting it. The women of the Gamma Upsilon-Wichita State spend their time volunteering at a local organization called Envision, which has locations in Wichita, Kansas and Dallas, Texas. Envision is a non-profit that works with the blind and visually impaired. According to Envision’s website, their mission is “to improve the quality of life and provide inspiration and opportunity for people who are blind or visually impaired through employment, outreach, rehabilitation, education and research.”
Paeten Howard, the vp: communications for Gamma Upsilon-Wichita State, said the chapter does a majority of their Service for Sight with Envision. She describes the chapter to be very hands on and expresses their gratitude to be able to have such a close relationship with an incredible local organization. After spending so much time at Envision, they even initiated an employee from the organization because they became so acquainted and felt as though she embodies everything that it means to be a Delta Gamma.
Members of the chapter attend a weekly Envision youth art club that encourages young and visually impaired students to express themselves through art. Additionally, many women from the chapter have previously volunteered at Envision Pride. Paeten describes Pride as an event that works with blind and visually impaired adults who also have intellectual disabilities. At the event, they make music, play with hair and fun styles, participate in games and so much more.
The list goes on of the service that these amazing women have dedicated themselves to. Past Envision events Gamma Upsilon has attended includes an event at the local zoo in Wichita and a back-to-school bash that Envision hosted at a community park. Most recently, Envision held their yearly gala which Delta Gamma women helping set-up, assist during the event and aid in cleanup. Coming up soon, the Gamma Upsilon chapter has a large Fall Festival event planned with the Envision youth which will be held at a local pumpkin patch.
On top of their time spent at Envision, Gamma Upsilon does much more to support our philanthropy. They host a Pancake Feed Fundraiser every fall to raise money for Envision and the Delta Gamma Foundation. In addition, they host their synchronized swimming competition, Anchor Splash®, in the spring which allows other Greek houses on the Wichita State campus to team together and raise money for Service for Sight. Prior to the pandemic, the Gamma Upsilon women also volunteered at Via Christi Villages, a local independent and assisted living community. Although it has been difficult to visit Via Christi Villages in recent times, the women have still found ways to volunteer their time such as making Valentines Day or fall themed wreaths for the community.
Megan Kelly, Gamma Upsilon-Wichita State, said, “her favorite part about volunteering at Envision’s art club is seeing the kids have fun, and making connections with them.” Paeten describes that each child she has met at art club “is so positive and excited to be there. All that they wish to do is make new friends, give big hugs and make art with the visitors.”
In coordination with World Sight Day and White Cane Awareness Day, the Delta Gamma Foundation is celebrating October 10-16 as the second annual World Sight Awareness Week. This week is meant to highlight our philanthropy, Service for Sight, raise awareness around sight preservation and share ways you can advocate for the blind and visually impaired community. Check out the information that was shared to the Foundation Facebook and Instagram accounts.