It’s Always Christmas in Alpha Chi
The holiday season is my favorite time of the year for many reasons. It is the time of year when lights are strung on houses, the search is on for the perfect Christmas tree, the community is decorated in red and green, peppermint-flavored drinks arrive at Starbucks, time off from school or work is spent with friends and family, and, of course, the exchange of gifts too.
Surrounded by red and green, I am reminded of Alpha Chi Omega everywhere I look (not that this is anything out of the ordinary). During this season of giving, I can’t help but reflect on the ways in which Alpha Chi has given so much to me. Within this last year, I cherished my last semester as a collegiate member, became an alumna and Life Loyal member, and began my first year as a chapter consultant. Through these various experiences, I have had the opportunity to see first-hand the ways in which Alpha Chi Omega gives abundantly to our new and lifetime members.
As a consultant, my work with colonizing one of Alpha Chi’s newest chapters allowed me to witness the ways in which our newest members’ lives are instantaneously changed by the addition of Alpha Chi Omega. From the moment they arrived on bid day, the look of excitement spread across their faces is one I will never forget. Most of these women never thought they would join a sorority, but they knew Alpha Chi Omega and what we stand for was something they wanted to be a part of and couldn’t contain their excitement.
Within days, as our new sisters had their first chapter meeting and sisterhood event, Alpha Chi Omega gave them the opportunity to make new friends they may not have met otherwise, hone their leadership skills as they ran for positions, develop personally as they went through our Dedication program, and be a part of something bigger than themselves like they never had before. Their love for Alpha Chi Omega was growing with every passing day.
As weeks turn into months and these new members become lifetime members, a whole new set of opportunities will present themselves. They will continue to expand their social and professional networks within their chapter, on their campus, in the community and with alumnae and sisters across the nation. They will understand the importance and beauty of our Ritual and how it can guide them in their everyday lives. They will learn about healthy relationships and domestic violence awareness while making a difference on their campus and in the community through Healthy Relationships Week and DVA Month; educational programming; and philanthropy events hosted by our chapters. They will have multiple opportunities for personal and leadership development with our MyJourney program, Leadership Academy, educational programs, such as InTune and Represent, and so many more.
As months turn into years and these collegiate members become alumnae members, these women will continue to be presented with opportunities because of their membership in Alpha Chi Omega. They will go on to become members of alumnae chapters and continue fostering and forming relationships with their sisters. They will give to the Alpha Chi Omega Foundation and support our organization in providing educational and philanthropic endeavors to our sisters across the nation. They will take on an advisor or other volunteer role and have the chance to mentor our collegiate members, play their part in supporting and advancing our organization and attend Volunteer Summit and other advisor trainings.
During this season of giving, I encourage you to reflect on the ways in which you can give back to the organization that has given us so much. As we approach another recruitment season, and the colonization of two new chapters, you might look for ways to help give the gift of Alpha Chi Omega to potential new members. As convention is fast approaching, you might give yourself the gift of joining sisters in Orlando to connect with sisters across the nation. As we are busy buying gifts for our family and friends, think about recognizing a sister with a donation to the Foundation in her name. As new executive boards are elected and our chapters head into 2016, consider how you can get more involved with your chapter as a collegian or as an alumnae volunteer.
As I recall sharing during a recruitment speech, “Alpha Chi Omega is truly something special.” We offer our members not only a lifetime of sisterhood but also a lifetime of opportunity and growth, and I could not be more proud to be a part of such an organization.
With our colors of red and green, my chapter sisters used to say, “It’s always Christmas in Alpha Chi.” With our giving spirit, that couldn’t be more true.