UMD sororities raise money for women’s education around the world
Editor’s note: The author of this story is a member for Greek Life.
On Monday, Nov. 12, members of the UMD Panhellenic Council (PHC) kicked off a week long fundraiser for the Circle of Sisterhood foundation. Founded in 2011, the Circle of Sisterhood, a nonprofit organization that promotes female education around the world, uses the power of 26 national sororities to raise money. In the nearly seven years since its founding, they have funded the construction of 16 schools in five different countries.
The Panhellenic Council at UMD is made up of the Alpha Sigma Tau, Beta Lambda Psi, Kappa Xi Delta and Phi Sigma Sigma sororities. UMD’s national sororities, Phi Sigma Sigma and Alpha Sigma Tau, are two members of the 26 that make up the Circle of Sisterhood. In January, the PHC set the goal to hold a fundraiser for Circle of Sisterhood, and in November it came to fruition.
The plan hit a roadblock when its lead planner had to leave school for personal reasons. That’s when the programming committee, consisting of twenty members of the PHC, hit crunch time.
“The garage was booked, we just needed to figure out what to do with it,” said Jocelyn Lensing, the PHC president. “We used group chats to brainstorm ideas and we delegated tasks.”
In the end, they decided to hold a bake sale, sell T-Shirts, and have a fundraiser at Buffalo Wild Wings. The day before the event, everyone piled into Lensing’s apartment where they made 150 cake pops and over 100 cookies to sell.
During the week, the bake sale was held in the garage Monday through Wednesday. On Tuesday, there was a hot chocolate bar and Thursday was the Buffalo Wild Wings fundraiser. With it being a first year event, raising awareness was the goal alongside raising money.
“I was pleasantly surprised with how well it was received,” Lensing said. “People really seemed to care. This was also helpful for PHC as we were able to explain better why we’re here and what we do. This is our way of showing we can all work together and work towards a common goal.”
When putting so much time and effort into an event such as this, those that planned it say the mission of organizations like this hits close to home.
“One fact we always say is that only 7 percent of the world is college educated, and most of that is men,” Lensing said. “So helping women grow into that number is huge. Seeing that percentage grow over the years is something that would be really cool to see.”
While final numbers for this years event are not totaled, the PHC has already stated that it hopes to increase its fundraising for Circle of Sisterhood next year. Making it an annual event in 2019, they hope to host a benefit dinner with a raffle where all proceeds go to the foundation.