Founded in 1895, sisters of the Chi Omega Fraternity have always prioritized giving their time and talents towards community service and helping others. However, in 2002, Chi Omega officially announced the Chi Omega and Make a Wish® alliance. Make a Wish® Foundation is a national nonprofit organization that helps arrange "wishes" for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Since then, the fraternity has been able to raise millions of dollars for this amazing foundation and Chi O girls have put in countless hours in creative fundraising events that help raise the money to grant a child's wish. Make a Wish® is a large part of Chi Omega and their values. Here are some stories from sisters that explain how big of an impact the Make a Wish® alliance has had on their lives.
1. Amanda, Sophomore, Omicron Kappa Chapter of UC Davis
"As a Chi Omega, I am so honored to represent and support the Make A Wish® Foundation. Make A Wish® is a truly phenomenal organization in that it allows children who have to face intensive medical treatment to feel hopeful and empowered. It is an amazing feeling to know that our events have such an impact on these children's and their families' lives, and I can't wait to see what other wishes we are able to make come true."
2. Samantha, Senior, Chi Lambda Chapter of Winthrop University
"Make-A-Wish® is hope. Hope for one more day, one more minute, one more hour. Hope [for] both children with terminal illnesses and their families. Without Make-A-Wish®, my cousin would not have made it to his 21st birthday or lived his dream of flying a plane. But they made it happen. His wish gave him hope, and that's why they are so important to me, and to my family. As well as to families all across the nation. And I could not be more proud to be a Chi Omega [alumna] that helped give back to Make-A-Wish®, who makes dreams come true."
3. Natasha, Freshman, Omicron Kappa Chapter of UC Davis
"Chi Omega is a group of women who are dedicated to promote service and build friendships. That is why we are in partnership with Make-A-Wish Foundation®. We raise funds for the organization through events to allow others to have their dreams come true. I am honored to [be a] part of this amazing community because I am able to contribute to the community, while creating long lasting friendships with my fellow sisters. It’s great to be a Chi O!"
4. Zenia, Sophomore, Epsilon MU Chapter of Northeastern
"To me, Make A Wish was one of the reasons that I joined Chi O. I think the idea of Make A Wish® ties in seamlessly with our [motto], 'to be discouraged never.' Make A Wish® gives children more than just a 'wish.' It gives them a sense of hope and strength and mentally this can do so much more for the children than any medication can. To be able to grant a child a wish is giving them a new boost of strength and I feel honored to be able to do that. Currently, my Chi O chapter is in the middle of our very first Wish Week. We are doing a Chi O carnival and fundraisers with Insomnia Cookies and a local burrito place. We are very close to granting our very first wish!"
5. Abbey, Sophomore, Omicron Kappa Chapter of UC Davis
"I love Make-A-Wish®. I hadn't really gotten involved with Make-A-Wish® before joining Chi Omega, but since I've gotten the chance to become more involved, it's been an amazing experience to see how our fundraising efforts directly affect the Wish kids in our community. Last year I had the opportunity to go to the Make-A-Wish® center in Sacramento and meet one of our Wish kids, whose wish was granted with money that we raised. It was an awesome experience to get to meet her and her family, and we spent more than two hours talking with her and her family and playing Disney trivia with her. Part of what makes me proud to be a Chi Omega is the fact that we are partnered with Make-A-Wish®, and that is part of what drives me to throw 100 percent into our philanthropy events."
6. Kaylee, Alumna, Nu Zeta Chapter of Emporia State University
"We had a "swishes for wishes" basketball tournament to raise money for our Make a Wish® kid! The whole chapter came out and supported along with a ton of the other kids on campus! The best part was that our wish kid and her family were able to be there also. Seeing the smiles on their faces was so amazing. Make a Wish is definitely an organization that I plan on being involved in even after I am an alum!"
7. Iszzy, Sophomore, Omicron Kappa Chapter of UC Davis
Last year I joined Chi Omega, not knowing much, since I was a freshman. I really enjoyed my first quarter as a new member and was really excited once I got initiated! At that time I started to get really into greek life and into philanthropy. I at one point won a competition and won an iPad! I was so moved by how my chapter loved Make-A-Wish® through visiting the Wish Center and getting excited for our special events like Chi O Casino and Chi O Cookies! So, I decided to sell the iPad and donate it to Make-A-Wish®. I think it is important as a member of Greek life to be passionate about our philanthropies because Greek life tends to be looked down upon. By being excited about raising money for Make-A-Wish®, it allows the community to see us under a different light. Philanthropies also connect the Greek community together to raise money to help something bigger than us."
8. Lara, Alumna, Mu Delta Chapter of Bradley University
"Make a Wish® granted my baby cousin (she's 20 now but to me, she will always be the tiny sick girl with a floppy hat covering her bald head) a trip to Disneyland. She spent her whole childhood sick and buried in princess coloring books and the joy that the trip brought her was unexplainable. The second that I found out being a Chi Omega meant that I got to be a part of this magic my heart felt so full and so at home."
And finally, one sister tells about how the Make a Wish Foundation not only directly correlates with her fraternity sisters, but with her family as well.
9. Jenna, Freshman, Omicron Kappa Chapter of UC Davis
My younger brother was diagnosed with cancer when he was little, so he was able to be granted a wish. Make-A-Wish® did a lot of really generous things for my family, including giving us the opportunity to go to Disney World for a week and a three-day cruise to the Bahamas. My brother's Make-A-Wish trip was the best thing to happen to us at the time; it was so nice to be able to get away from everything and enjoy a nice family vacation. When I found out Chi Omega's philanthropy was Make-A-Wish, I knew I had to be a Chi O! Make-A-Wish® is an organization that is so close to my heart, and I'm so thankful to be a part of an organization who donates to Make-A-Wish®. The events we put on for Make-A-Wish® are going to make so many young children very happy!!"
It is clear that sororities from all different chapters around the nation care about all of their unique philanthropies and do all that they can by donating their time and attention to help create fun events for their entire campus to enjoy and donate to the cause. Fraternities and sororities like Chi Omega help create a spotlight for charities that may otherwise go unnoticed by a typical college student. Therefore, it is important to keep an eye out for philanthropic events that are hosted on your campus whether you are a part of Greek life or not, so that you can help make a difference to those in need!
Lead Image Credit: Chi Omega, Omicron Kappa Chapter of UC Davis