My name is Alyssa Johnson and I am a junior member of Delta Gamma. When I received my bid to the Gamma Upsilon (Wichita State) chapter of Delta Gamma I had no idea how much my actions would impact the lives of others. But first, let’s go back:
Twelve years before my entrance to the chapter, Gamma Upsilon paired with our local philanthropy Envision to to create a summer camp for kids and teens with any form of visual impairment in honor of a Gamma Upsilon sister, Heather, who we lost too soon. Heather had such a fire for helping children, and she burned that flame within Delta Gamma. Thus the light behind Heather’s Camp. Just shy of 15 years later, Heather’s Camp has grown from less than 10 campers to just over 80 campers in the 14th year. Each child or teen will be matched 1:1 (sometimes more!) with a camp counselor — most of whom are past and present Gamma Upsilon, Delta Gamma sisters, fraternity men and other community individuals who share the same passion.
Here is what my sister Rachel Lee (then Freshman, now Sophomore) had to say about her first camp experience:
“What an amazing life changing experience at Heathers Camp. All the kids were so joyful, goofy, and excited. I never heard anyone complain about their disabilities or impairments. Spending a week with them made me feel so blessed and they were so inspiring. It was also incredible to see so many Delta Gammas and several fraternity men make such a huge impact on these children’s lives.”
But our dedication to Envision and these kids does not stop after the four day camp. We have sisters that interact with Envision every single week, and the chapter hosts an event monthly. Our fall philanthropy event, Anchor Splash, is a time when we invite the Envision community to Wichita State to view synchronized swimming routines by the fraternity men and sorority women of WSU. Following the performances we return to our chapter house for food, prizes and often an improv dance party. Our Envision friend Ashley will usually serenade us with an acappella version of her favorite One Direction song, too. The cheers from the crowd as a smile crosses her face is one of the most rewarding feelings.
On top of Anchor Splash/Bash we host a teen Casino Night, kids Halloween Party, Christmas movie night, Easter Egg Hunt and so much more. Our lives are constantly filled with joy from seeing the impact of a welcoming hug of any Envision Friend.
While Delta Gamma’s national philanthropy is Service for Sight, Gamma Upsilon does good in so many different ways, too. Our involvement with other chapters’ philanthropy is another important factor to living the Delta Gamma lifestyle. Personally, I love Alpha Phi’s taco feed and playing putt-putt with Delta Delta Delta. We have sisters who sit on the board for Sigma Phi Alpha’s Shockerton raising money for the Children’s Miracle Network, and our chapter partners with Sigma Phi Epsilon with a chili feed benefiting Zach’s Wishes for Miracle in honor of a Wichita SigEp brother who lost his battle with cancer. With those being some of the big things we do, a Delta Gamma truly never stops doing good.
So why do we do good?
“Because why not? If I can do the simplest of things to help someone or make their day slightly greater than it was, why not? If I can love a kid that has never known love or acceptance, why wouldn’t I? If I can build others up by encouraging them while others try to tear them down, wouldn’t you? If I can hope in a greater future for myself anchored in something bigger than myself, why not? If I have to choose between doing good and doing nothing, WHY NOT ‘DO GOOD’?” – Micaela Haig, Junior
Doing Good is a humbling lifestyle. As Delta Gamma we know the difference between right and wrong, and do not seek anything in return. We strive to change the world for better.
We are thankful for the chance to win $5,000 dollars from College Game Day and State Farm. The money is enough to impact any life. With the money, Delta Gamma would be able to help fund Heather’s Camp, because it relies 100 percent on donations, and with the rapid increase of campers any funds are necessary.
State Farm, you are doing so much good. We thank you for that!
Once you choose HOPE anything is possible.