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Cementing a relationship forged during the era of the pandemic, the Mu Omicron Chapter of Gamma Phi Delta Sorority Incorporated presented its Outstanding Community Service Award on May 15 to Bridges to Independence, which strives to provide support to families facing roaming in the region.
Bridges is “a pretty exceptional organization,” said Joyce Bell, professional sisterhood member and three-day conference organizer. The sorority chapter, she said, “shares her dedication to helping the most vulnerable.”
Samuel Kelly Jr., who runs Bridges to Independence, accepted the award at the event – held online due to health concerns.
“It’s really an honor. . . to see our work for this community recognized in such a meaningful way, ”said Kelly, praising“ the excellent work of the Mu Omicron Chapter as a fellowship ”.
“Our goals align,” said Kelly, who then detailed the impact the pandemic had on Bridges to Independence services in the Arlington / Alexandria area.
Despite the pandemic, Mu Omicron members have supported Bridges with a Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service event and are getting involved in other ways.
“I am so honored that you took the time [to help]Kelly said. The pandemic has taken families already at risk and added more challenges, Kelly said.
“Overnight we saw about 80% of families either unemployed or with reduced hours,” he said, noting that most of the people served by Bridges had ties to retail industries. and food badly affected.
Kelly also detailed her organization’s efforts to provide academic and social support to youth whose families are part of programs sponsored by Bridges.
“If we want to end poverty, if we want to end homelessness, we have to start with the next generation,” he said.
The Mu Omicron Sorority Chapter was chartered to Arlington in 1997, and hosted the 57th Biennial Gamma Phi Delta Eastern Regional Conference. The region includes seven states from New York to Virginia, as well as the District of Columbia.
Speakers at the event included Arlington Circuit Court Chief Justice William Newman Jr., who encouraged attendees to say “there is strength in numbers.”
“One person is an inspiration, but 100 people? It’s a movement, ”Newman said.
“Take up arms on the side of justice,” Newman urged.
He also reminded the attendees of Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”, who set off in search of something only to find that “everything you need has always been inside of you, from the start.”
“Let him go,” the judge said. “You are not going to change the world by being passive – locked in the past or married to the status quo.”
Also participating in the program, whose theme was “Sisters Positioning for Success”:
• Prince William County Supervisor Andrea Bailey who spoke of “’Leader’ is not just a title”.
• Gamma Phi Delta Sorority National President Lenor Reese (who is a member of the Mu Omicron section).
• Subject matter experts discussed the areas of nutrition, exercise and mental health, while author and coach Metra Lundy moderated an engaging lecture and discussion focused on health, wellness and increased energy levels.
“It was more than a Zoom meeting,” said Michele Carden-Gayles, first vice president of the Mu Omicron chapter. Mary Porter, the Eastern Regional Director, her Board of Directors and the members of the Mu Omicron Chapter did a phenomenal job in ensuring that this is a fully engaged conference where everyone is involved. online was a unique experience. “
The national Gamma Phi Delta sorority was founded in 1943 and is open to women of all professions as well as undergraduates. For more information, see the website at https://gpd1943.org.