Wednesday, July 19, 2017

St. Jude - Tri Delta Celebration Recap

My hope is that after reading this blog, you are able to feel what I felt during my visit to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. There are truly no words I have to describe what I got out of this amazing experience but here’s my best shot!

My two days spent at the Tri Delta St Jude Celebration were just that – a celebration. In 2014, Tri Delta committed $60 million to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 10 years – the largest commitment a partner has ever made to them. Just 3 years later, they announced at the Celebration that Tri Delta has raised $27 million. $9 million raised a year… all by a group of college women. If that statement doesn’t give you chills, please re-read it because that is definitely something worth celebrating!!! I’ve never felt so much pride in being a Tri Delta woman.

After a day of travel on Wednesday, Thursday started with a patient panel of four brave, young St Jude patients and two of their parents. They were each able to share their inspirational stories and tell us how much St Jude meant to them. We also got to hear of their hopes and dreams after their treatments. A rising fourth grade patient, Lizzy, said that she was most excited to get back to school and see her friends that she hasn’t seen in a while. Luke, an 18-year-old, was a top basketball recruit prior to his diagnosis. Along with sharing his professional basketball aspirations, he and his cousin rapped a song that Luke wrote about St Jude! One of my favorite lines, “I do it for the Jude,” was on repeat in my head throughout the day.

Two members of the patient panel!


Lizzy’s dad spoke of his experience at Tri Delta Place saying that Tri Delta was able to provide his family hope, a bright and inviting place to lay their heads at night and a spot he could get work done as well. I knew that Tri Delta Place was a welcoming place for patients and their families to stay while getting treatment, but it was great to hear firsthand that it was actually making a huge difference in these family’s lives.




Representatives from UK, Clemson, and UofSC!



Following the panel and two other inspiring speakers, we loaded buses and headed to the St Jude campus! We started with a tour of the hospital alongside the representatives from Clemson University and the University of Kentucky. Having toured St Jude two other times with Tri Delta during the weekend, I was unsure what to expect, but this experience was different since it was on a weekday. St Jude attempts to get patients out of the hospital during the weekend so they can live as normal of a life as possible, so it was eye opening to see it fully functional. As we walked through the hallways, it was hard not to notice the huge impact Tri Delta has made there! Hints of Tri Delta were seen throughout the hospital on walls, murals, the floor, our patient care floor and the Teen Room as well that we have dedicated. After three years and three visits, I can say that St Jude is not like a normal hospital – there is no “hospital smell” or plain white walls. Just being there gives you a sense of hope and happiness and leaves you feeling extremely inspired. 








The next stop was Tri Delta Place, a state of the art on campus housing option where patients and their families can stay free of charge. Tri Delta had the honor of sponsoring the building after making our $60 million commitment. Upon walking in, I immediately felt comfortable and at home. Like the hospital itself, the space was bright and inspiring. It was surreal seeing that Tri Delta was able to again make such a huge impact at St Jude by providing 100 rooms for the families to comfortably stay just a few steps from the hospital.


Notice the delta shaped lamp, groups of three, and shades of blue!

While on tour of the hospital, our tour guide told us that that most common type of pediatric cancer, ALL, costs around $400,000 to treat. After some simple math, it struck me that our Alpha Lambda chapter helped fund one fourth of a child’s treatment for cancer in this year alone. I left the Celebration feeling inspired, humbled, and prideful. I look forward to another semester serving as my chapter’s philanthropy chair – raising as much money as possible and spreading the word about this amazing organization! The Tri Delta - St Jude Celebration and the hospital itself will forever hold a special place in my heart.

If you feel compelled to do so, here is a link to donate to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in our chapter’s name: https://shop.stjude.org/GiftCatalog/donation.do?cID=14062&pID=21790

Delta love and all of mine, Madison Hoover  


A statue of Danny Thomas, the founder of St Jude Children's Research Hospital.
It's said that if you rub the nose, you'll have good luck!

Tegan, Hallie, and I (notice the dolphins on the floor!!).

Patient art work was displayed throughout the hospital.









The "ABC's of Cancer," a bright addition to the hospital created by patients.



Flags in the Research Center, each flag representing the
home country of doctors and researchers at the hospital. St Jude
freely shares discoveries, so every child saved at St Jude means
 doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge
to save thousands more children! 
#TriDelta4StJude!!




















The hallways are covered in unique and fun designs!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Love Your Body Week


With Spring Break coming up next week, girls start to worry and become self- conscious about their bodies. Since Tri Delta is involved with a Body Image 3D program, this is the perfect time to have a “Love Your Body Week” for the whole chapter! The purpose of this week is to teach the members to love their bodies while also being healthy along side of our sisters. 
The chefs helped out with making an awesome menu for this week featuring multiple super healthy meals. Some of the favorites have been the grilled chicken kabobs and greek salad, the salmon, and the avocado toast. 
Open Chapter Monday night also went along with the “Love Your Body Week” theme. It started off with an activity where three girls from each pledge class were asked to stand in front of a blank white poster while closing their eyes. The other members of the chapter wrote nice things about them around where they were standing. After 15 minutes, the girls standing around the posters were asked to turn around and look at the nice things their sisters wrote about them. It was a cute and positive way to kick off chapter! 






After the activity, Larsyn Cross, a nutrition and body wellness expert, spoke to the chapter about loving your body. She told her story about how she had to learn to love herself after getting skin cancer when she was only a junior in college. She learned to except her scars from the surgery and decided to embrace her uniqueness because it is what set her apart from other people. She emphasized that we must embrace our bodies because we are each fearfully and wonderfully made. 
Her six tips on how to stay body positive in college are:
1.      Wear what you want to wear (not what you think you are supposed to wear).
2.      Don’t delete “ugly” pictures of yourself and say affirmations in the mirror daily. 
3.      Create meaningful relationships
4.      Stop comparing (comparison is the thief of joy)
5.      Feed your mind and soul
6.      Do it for yourself and no one else 
a.       Eat healthy foods (learn to cook), drink water, exercise daily and get adequate sleep
Larsyn’s talk was amazing and was a great way to start off the week. She left everyone feeling more confident and with some great tips on how to love your body!
On Tuesday and Thursday, there are a social media challenges for Love Your Body Week. Members are posting pictures on Instagram to show why and how they love their bodies using the hashtags #lΔΔΔveyourbody and #bodyimage3d. 
On Wednesday, there is an activity from 6-8pm at the Tri Delta house where girls are drawing body positive quotes and sayings on posters and sticky notes. Members are hanging them around the Tri Delta house and campus to spread the message of loving your body!
We have really enjoyed our "Love Your Body Week" and look forward to always staying body positive and loving ourselves. Thanks to Kendall, our Body Image Coordinator for planning such an uplifting and fun week! 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Team Tri Delta at Dance Marathon!

On Saturday, February 25, a group of our sisters joined over 1,200 other students and danced together for 14 hours with USC Dance Marathon to raise money for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. USC Dance Marathon is the largest student-run philanthropic organization on campus. These students are able to help children right here in Columbia by fundraising for the Child Life Program at Palmetto Health Children’s Hospital. This year, as a whole USCDM raised $703,289 surpassing their $700,000 goal. As a team, our girls raised $6,704.42 for the kids!

The main event began at 10 a.m. and went until 12 a.m, and during this time, there was no sitting or sleeping. The participants danced in support of the patients, some of which they got to meet during the event! They also heard many different Miracle family testimonies, which encouraged the participants to keep on dancing, even when it seemed impossible. 
 
 
“I got involved last year with the encouragement of another Tri Delta Member, Kimmie Gower. I didn’t really know what I was getting into at first. It was not until I met a Miracle kid named Benjamin that I realized how important this event was. It makes you want to work harder and do whatever you can do to help these children and their families,” said Junior Emily Morgan.



Both Emily and Sophomore Julia Derry are members of the Dance Marathon Morale Team. They spent countless hours preparing for the event and ensuring its success. During the main event Emily and Julia motivated our team to keep going and keep fundraising.

Some of our members got to meet a fellow Tri Delta from Elon at the main event on Saturday. After bonding over sisterhood, she then proceeded to get on the stage and tell about how she was a miracle child who had a 10% chance of survival when she was 8 years old. What a special story to share and a testimony to living out your purpose!




We could not be more proud of the Tri Deltas who were so dedicated to helping an amazing cause. An event like this brings the student body together to better the lives of children and families everywhere, and we could not be happier to have the opportunity to participate while strengthening the bonds of friendship between our chapter. 


“Being able to bond with sisters from my pledge class was one of the best parts of fundraising and dancing as a Tri Delta team member!” said freshman, Mckenna Vergnolle. Being able to spend time with sisters and raising money for a good cause? How could it get any better!

Sophomore Makenna Rose also really enjoyed being a part of this event. “Hearing all of the miracle stories and then seeing the looks on everyone’s faces when we exceeded our goal was one of the best parts of the event; the pure joy that overwhelmed the room, knowing that dancing for 14 hours wasn’t just dancing but knowing that it truly was making a difference and that everyone there cared and made these children their priority for all day... that was the best,” said Makenna.

We can’t thank our team members enough, and we look forward to raising even more money next year!