Submitted by Nashela George, Crystal Bostick & Ronnette Finch
Wilmington (DE) Alumnae Chapter (“WAC”) has been a vital part of Wilmington, Delaware, and the greater New Castle County, Delaware, area since its chartering, nearly 74 years ago, on March 9,1949. The chapter is known for the service it does in the community, so it’s no surprise that they were busy providing service in three different and very significant ways in Dec. 2022 and Jan. 2023.
THE UNITED NATIONS CHILDREN’S FUND (“UNICEF”)
In December, WAC took Christmas cheer to the Christiana Mall while raising money for a very good cause. The chapter partnered with UNICEF on the weekend of Dec. 16- 17, 2022 to support their annual gift-wrapping drive. More than 30 sorors wrapped more than 85 gifts, raising more than $900 for UNICEF.
PAJAMAS AND BOOKS
WHEW!!! They did it!!! On Dec. 16, 2022, The Delta DEARS team assembled and delivered 230 holiday gift bags that contained pajamas, a new children’s book and a sweet treat for youth ages 3-5. The delighted recipients were the children at the four Delaware Head Start Pre-K program centers in Northern New Castle County, DE. The contributions, primarily from WAC members made this project a total success. Each year, the center plans a “Pajama Day” for students to participate in an all-day read-a-thon that includes choral reading, picture storytelling and arts and crafts. The children’s books were donated to generate classroom discussions related to social norms, to promote positive self-images and imagination, and to strengthen relationships. Each learning center forwarded photos of children in their “Pajama Day” outfits with their books. The children were seen reading to each other, reading to stuffed animals, and reading during their naptime and their afternoon snack. Chapter members were excited that the chapter was able to assist the Delaware Head Start program with a very successful “Pajama Day.”
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. DAY OF SERVICE (“MLK, JR. DAY OF SERVICE”)
WAC completed its second highly successful MLK, Jr. Day of Service on Monday, Jan. 16. As with many cities across America, there are too many areas in Wilmington, Delaware, that are considered food deserts. These are areas where accessibility to quality and healthy grocery options for impoverished citizens remain very limited. Food insecurity continues to be a significant threat to children in low-income families.
With a very strong desire and determination to shed light on this issue, WAC collaborated with Planting to Feed, Inc, a 501(c)(3) organization. Planting to Feed utilizes local gardens to provide access to fresh produce to the community, to fully stock community refrigerators in the Wilmington area. Three of the community refrigerators are located at the Teen Warehouse, Kingswood Community Center and Henrietta Johnson Medical Center. WAC members executed the project, which was focused on cleaning, organizing, and fully stocking the refrigerators, and leaving behind healthy food options for citizens of the neighborhood.
The chapter knew that after the holidays communities often continue to struggle to find the needed food and resources to support their families. Within two short hours, WAC left a huge impact on its community. Nashela W. George, first vice president of WAC, reminds everyone that the “Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service should always be a day on; not a day off for our community!” WAC plans to do just that and continue to live Dr. King’s dream for years to come.