SERVICE FOR SIGHT | JOINING FORCES
Service is at the heart of our chapter’s ideals. Our passion for service began in 1936, when a blind member, Ruth Billow, Eta-Akron, petitioned for Delta Gamma to adopt “Aid to the Blind” as our official philanthropy. Ever since, Service for Sight has been at the heart of our philanthropy, as it supports five schools across the United States for the visually impaired. Under Service for Sight, we also support other North American organizations that promote sight preservation and aid children and adults who are visually impaired.
Service for Sight has many branches, including Joining Forces and the Golden Anchor Program. The Joining Forces program allows Delta Gammas to help soldiers and veterans who have become visually impaired during combat. Our chapter supports the Joining Forces aspect of Service for Sight by writing cards, making blankets, and tabling on campus to support our servicemen and women. The Golden Anchor Program involves working with senior citizens to help preserve eyesight, as the likelihood to develop visual impairments increases with age. Our members help the senior citizens of the Athens-Clarke county community by volunteering at a local retirement home.
Hands-on service is extremely important to our chapter members. Each semester, we have a week filled with service called “Do Good Week,” which helps us live out the Delta Gamma motto to Do Good. This week is filled with volunteer activities that help spread awareness for not only people with visual impairments, but also to promote eye health. During this week, we write thank you cards to military men and women, make interactive crafts for the children at the Center for the Visually Impaired in Atlanta, GA, and have local eye doctors come and give presentations about eye health. These are just a few of the ways we Do Good by volunteering in our community. Beyond Service for Sight, many of our members are involved with other service organizations such as UGA Miracle, Extra Special People, Relay for Life, UGA HEROs, and many more!
Another prominent way our sisters are involved with Service for Sight is through the Guide Dog Foundation for the Blind. Several of our sisters over the past year have raised and trained guide dogs for this Foundation. These women socialize and teach basic obedience to these dogs from the age of about 10 weeks to around 16 months. Each year, a member of the sophomore Member class raises a puppy in the house! This year, two of our members have the honor of raising Ion in the Delta Iota house! While raising is an essential aspect to the success of these dogs, they can’t do it all on their own. Around 40 women are involved with the Guide Dog Foundation as campers, in which they help raisers with their dog when they might be unavailable. Guide dogs are present at pretty much every Delta Gamma event!
Fundraising is also an important aspect of how we support the Delta Gamma Foundation and other local sight organizations. Each Fall, Delta Iota hosts our annual Low Country Boil. Members of the UGA community, the Athens-Clarke county community, family, and friends enjoy a traditional, southern meal and live music on our lawn. This past year, we had over 700 attendees and raised thousands for Service for Sight, as well as two other sight organizations: The Guide Dog Foundation and the Timberwolves, a local visually impaired baseball team. In the Spring, we host our Anchor Dash 5K/Fun Walk at the UGA Golf Course. This past year, over 250 runners participated, which helped raise thousands for Service for Sight and Joining Forces.