Celebrating 102 years

On Tuesday, members of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. celebrated 102 years of sisterhood, scholarship and service. The Delta Iota chapter, which was founded on the campus of Grambling State University in 1950, decided to bring in their Founders’ Day by collecting shoes for the less fortunate.

The chapter goal was to donate 102 pairs of shoes for the nonprofit organization called Soles4Souls; however, they collected more than 400 pairs of gently used shoes. Soles4Souls mission statement states that they are a “global not-for-profit institution dedicated to fighting the devastating impact and perpetuation of poverty.”

The organization advances its anti-poverty mission by collecting new and used shoes and clothes from individuals, schools, faith-based institutions, civic organizations and corporate partners, then distributing those shoes and clothes both via direct donations to people in need and by provisioning qualified microenterprise programs designed to create jobs in poor and disadvantaged communities.

The Vice President of the Delta Iota chapter Burgundy Hammond, a senior criminal justice major from Alexandria, said collecting shoes for Sole4Soles tied directly to the chapter’s theme for Founders’ Day, “walking into the everlasting torch of our founders.”  The sisterhood has been collecting shoes since Dec. 1, and the drive concluded Tuesday. The chapter’s goal to collect 102 shoes was in honor of their 102 years since their sorority has been at the forefront of the nation.  According to Hammond, the organization was not particular about the shoes donated.

“The recipients are so grateful that they are willing to accept mismatch shoes,” said Hammond.

Delta Sigma Theta was founded on Jan. 13, 1913, on the campus of Howard University in Washington, D.C. by 22 collegiate Black women. Since then, more than 200,000 women have joined the organization. There are currently 1,000 collegiate and alumnae chapters located in the United States, England, Japan, Germany, the Virgin Islands, Bermuda, the Bahamas, Jamaica and the Republic of Korea.