DENTON, Texas (UNT) – Spring was a busy service time for the Gamma Upsilon chapter of Alpha Delta Pi at the University of North Texas. Last semester, the sorority tripled its charitable contributions over the entirety of last year.
Among the beneficiaries of the sorority’s charitable donations is the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas. The chapter raised $8,816 for the charitable organization that offers a place to stay, meals and transportation to families whose children are seeking medical treatment.
“A donation at this level qualifies the group as a Share-a-Night sponsor for one calendar year,” said Diane Fullingim, chief development officer of Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.
Signage will recognize the chapter as an Outstanding Sponsor of a major room, such as the library, teen room, study, playroom or craft room. The chapter members at first thought they were only going to sponsor a bedroom, but they raised enough money to sponsor a room that impacts all families who spend time at the house. Typically, a bedroom sponsorship for a year is $5,500 – $15 per night for 365 nights. The $15 per night rate is a suggested amount for a family staying at the house. However, no family is ever turned away because of an inability to pay, which makes sponsorships so important.
“Since 1981, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas has provided 33,000 families with a home-away-from-home because of the generosity of organizations like Alpha Delta Pi,” said Fullingim. “The entire Alpha Delta Pi organization, including alumnae and collegiate members, raised $1 million nationwide this past year in support of Ronald McDonald House Charities.”
The Gamma Upsilon chapter at UNT did their part by hosting three fundraisers this spring – their annual Mocktails Blend-Off, a Buffalo Wild Wings fundraiser and a Lilly Pulitzer Shop and Share. The chapter raised more than $10,500, which went to the Ronald McDonald House and other charitable efforts.
In addition, sorority members collected $2,000 worth of items that were on the Dallas Ronald McDonald House’s wish list. Members of the Gamma Upsilon chapter also visit the charity at least three times a semester, said Kris Dolenz, philanthropy chair for the chapter.
“We play games with the families, do arts and crafts with them, make a meal for them – or even clean,” Dolenz said. “
The partnership with Ronald McDonald House holds special meaning for the chapter, Dolenz said.
“About 30 percent of our chapter members, their families or friends have had experience staying at a Ronald McDonald House,” Dolenz said. “It helps to have their stories and makes this a natural partnership for us to help this charity.”
This work is also in line with the national sorority’s partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities. At the June national convention, Gamma Upsilon members were able to hear about that – and received their own reward.
The chapter received the Standards of Excellence Award. This was the highest award the chapter was eligible for, said advisor Allyson Gardner, who works at UNT. This makes the chapter eligible to win the Maxine Blake Golden Lion Award, which is the highest honor available in Alpha Delta Pi.
“The Gamma Upsilon chapter is ready to go for this goal,” said Gardner. “I am confident that if they continue on the path they have created, they will get there.”
In addition to the Standards of Excellence Award, the chapter also won the following awards: Diamond Four-Point, Alpha Delta Pi Foundation Philanthropy Contributor, Legacy Award, Alpha Education Achievement, Adelphean Achievement, Alpha Delta Pi Foundation Annual Fund Contributor, Alpha Delta Pi Foundation Abigail Davis Emergency Grant Fund Contributor, Alpha Delta Pi Foundation Van Akin Chapter Leadership Development Fund Contributor, Finance Excellence and Recruitment Excellence.
Since 1979, the national organization of Alpha Delta Pi has been committed to serving Ronald McDonald House Charities. Alpha Delta Pi has contributed more than $3 million to this worthwhile effort. RMHC supports Ronald McDonald Houses in local communities and funds grants to other nonprofit organizations whose programs focus on children in need. Today, 271 Ronald McDonald Houses in 30 countries and regions help keep families with seriously ill or injured children together when they need it most by offering them a comfortable, temporary residence in proximity to a medical facility. In addition to donating money to this incredible organization, collegiate chapters and alumnae associations spend their time and energy volunteering at local Ronald McDonald Houses.
About Ronald McDonald House of Dallas
Established in 1981, the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas has served as a home-away-from-home for more than 33,000 families of seriously ill or injured children who have traveled to Dallas seeking medical treatment in area hospitals. By providing a caring, supportive, home-like environment, the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas keeps the family intact and helps allow a family to establish a normal routine in the midst of crisis. It also provides families with the opportunity to share their concerns with other families in similar circumstances. For more information, visit www.rmhdallas.org.