In July 1998, my life changed drastically. It was an absolutely wonderful change. As most of you know, we lost our daughter, Kristin, an Alpha Chi Omega of Omicron chapter at Baker University, to suicide, New Year’s Eve, 1995.
At the Tri Delta Convention that July, I was offered a grant to travel and tell “Kristin’s Story” to campuses across the nation. When Kristin died, I had no intention of going out and speaking on rape, depression and suicide to thousands of college students. That first year, I spoke at 20 universities. To date, I have spoken at over 300 campuses and 27 conferences in every state but three, as well as Canada and Australia.
Then, in the spring of 1999, Alpha Chi Omega also offered to provide a grant for me to present Kristin’s Story. Both Tri Delta and Alpha Chi Omega provided 10 grants a year. In addition to the grant schools, I spoke at many colleges who paid me independently as well at conferences. After 10 years of providing grants, Tri Delta chose to no longer offer the grant. Thankfully, Alpha Chi Omega has continued. This fall of 2012, Alpha Chi Omega will have provided grants for 13 wonderful years, and Alpha Chi Omega continues to do so.
Kristin’s Story and Alpha Chi Omega are natural partners. Alpha Chi Omega’s altruism is domestic violence awareness, and Kristin was a victim of rape which led to her suicide.
I have been blessed many times over. I have met so many wonderful college men and women in my travels as well as the wonderful Greek Advisors. These wonderful students have made me feel so appreciated and made me feel like Kristin’s Story is really making a difference. I have held many women in my arms who are sobbing because they have been raped or molested. I have hugged many men whose girlfriends or sisters have been raped. I have had many men and women come to me and tell me their story of rape and/or molestation.
Alpha Chi Omega is doing such wonderful work in their fight to end domestic violence. Before I started traveling and speaking, I was unaware how prevalent dating violence is.
I feel by traveling and speaking to students, Kristin lives on and is helping others.