Sisters aren’t just doing it for themselves in Ottawa these days. They’re doing it for others, too. In fact, the Xi Delta Theta sorority has been raising money for local charities for more than 20 years, but it has just recently become the first sisterhood of its kind to establish a dedicated fund at the Community Foundation of Ottawa.
Founded by a group of Carleton University students in 1993, Xi Delta Theta is now comprised of 60 active members representing Ottawa’s entire post-secondary community, including the University of Ottawa, Algonquin College and Carleton U. And these young women are truly “active” sorority members in the most enthusiastic, tireless and committed sense of the word.
Guided by the core values of excellence, determination and trust eternal, the sorority’s four central pillars are philanthropy, sisterhood, academics and sociality. Every month, the group holds an event related to each one of those pillars. And the sorority’s work in philanthropy has begun to take on epic proportions. From campus bake sales to pub nights and coin collections, Xi Delta Theta is renowned for its ability to put the “fun” in fundraising.
It’s the group’s work in support of Cystic Fibrosis Canada, however, that has become the stuff of legends. Inspired following the tragic death of young sister Amelia Lee L’Homme of CF in 1998, Xi Delta Theta has made battling the disease its central philanthropic focus ever since, culminating each year in the “A.L.L. Spirit weekend” that takes place in February. Other causes it supports include the annual Relay for Life, the Canadian Cancer Society and children’s cancer research.
“We were really looking for a way to start accumulating funds in one place so that we can start making larger donations in support of the important work of these organizations,” said Regan Preszcator, President of Xi Delta Theta. “The Community Foundation was the perfect fit in that it allows us to accomplish that goal while giving us the opportunity to make smaller donations along the way.”
In order to fulfill that wish, the Foundation worked directly with the sorority to create a fund that incorporates an endowment component along with a flow-through option. “It keeps us motivated to know we’re still able to give all the time that we’re saving,” said Regan, “especially when we hold so many small and large-scale fundraisers throughout the year. It’s very satisfying to watch the fund begin to grow while being able to continue supporting the causes that are so meaningful to us all throughout the year.”
In fact, Xi Delta Theta just made its very first Community Foundation grant of $1,000 to Cystic Fibrosis Canada in April of 2016.
Cover image courtesy of Xi Delta Theta Sorority.