“The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Be Good Anyway.”
This phrase from the Paradoxical Commandments by Kent M. Keith is part of the booklet for Sigma Chi student leaders and it is an integral part of the Sigma Chi fraternity. The Sig brothers demonstrate this through their dedication to their community by building strong leaders to lead communities, local volunteerism, raising funds for national charities, and continuing to invest in the community long after they have graduated.
Sigma Chi supports the growth of their members by offering their brothers opportunities to learn how to be great leaders and support their community. One program that helps create this is Sigma Chi’s Horizons program. This free program begins with a six day leadership event called the Huntsman Leadership Summit that takes place in Snowbird, Utah. At the summit the Sigma Chi brothers are challenged with sessions that immerse them in self-reflection and how they can help those around them. After the summit ends the Sigs also have post-session mentoring by alumni and are sent leadership lessons and guidance materials.What is also great about this program is that it is available for all Sigma Chi members, not just those who are in office or want to be in an officer position. However, the Sigma Chi fraternity not only looks to build its members but build up society as a whole.
On a local level Sigma Chi brothers make an impact every year through their philanthropic efforts. Some are as simple as volunteering at a food bank or helping a family of immigrants move into a new home, which a group of Sigs did for the LUM Immigration Clinic in October of 2018. At the local level Sigma Chi’s also help with larger events that benefit the community like Theta Zeta chapter at Bridgewater State University helping at the finish line of the 120th Boston Marathon. Although there are also chapters like the Gamma Upsilon chapter at Mississippi State University that truly set an example of leadership in a community with their continued local efforts.
The Sigma Chi chapter Gamma Upsilon assists with the TK Martin Fun Run which is a running event where participants pay to run in their best circus attire. All the proceeds go to the TK Martin Center where those with disabilities, ranging from Dyslexia to mobility issues, are helped by being provided tools they need and education in terms of reading, writing, and how to perform daily tasks. This group also helped their local fire station, the Bell House Fire Department, by “helping to improve the facilities and doing minor renovations” (https://www.msstatesigmachi.com). A final honorable mention for this group in terms of service is their Operation Christmas Child. For Christmas these Sigma Chi Brothers partnered with Delta Gamma in order to stuff shoe boxes with toys and send them overseas to children who otherwise would not receive gifts.
Outside of local charitable efforts Sigs have also raised money for several causes with larger national organizations including the Children’s Miracle Network and The Huntsman Cancer Foundation. To raise donations for these causes the Sigma Chi brothers use their annual charity event called Derby Days. This is a week filled with activities and events to raise money for a cause and include Dance Marathons, sporting events, and fun activities. One of the best examples of these events that Sigma Chi created is the Sig Freeze Event where the Sigma Chi brothers at Central Michigan University raised upwards of $10,000 for The Huntsman Cancer Foundation by playing a hockey match against their rivals Sigma Pi.
The Children’s Miracle Network “raises funds for 170 children’s hospitals across North America. When a donation is given, it stays in the community, ensuring every dollar is helping local kids” (helpmakemiracles.org). Since it was founded in 1983, the Children’s Miracle Network has raised more than four billion dollars for children in hospitals and the Sigma Chi fraternity has been contributing to that raised amount since 1992! Several chapters have donated to their local children’s hospital but the fraternity has made its largest impact with this organization by hosting the Miracle Network Dance Marathon. At these dance marathon’s students pay to come and dance and try to keep raising money for the Children’s Miracle network. In 2017 alone, Sigma Chi raised $138,000.
The other is the Huntsman Cancer Foundation which is an organization started in 1995 to raise money for cancer research. “In December 2012, Sigma Chi designated the Huntsman Cancer Foundation as its sole preferred philanthropic partner,” and “on April 12, 2013, Sigma Chi members presented the one-millionth dollar raised for cancer research at Huntsman Cancer Institute” (https://huntsmancancer.org/giving/foundation/sigma-chi). While one million dollars is an impressive amount to raise for charity the Sigma Chi Fraternity did not stop there. “On June 15, 2015, Sigma Chi made the largest commitment by a men’s fraternity with an $11 million dollar pledge to Huntsman Cancer Foundation. To date, Sigma Chi has raised over $8.4 million of the $11 million pledge.”
Sigma Chi brothers have given back generously but that kindness and consideration follows them even after they have walked away from their fraternity house with a diploma in their hands. Sigma Chi alumni give back to the fraternity financially, often creating scholarships for their Sigma Chi members, and give back their time and energy with opportunities like the Horizons program. Although they give back to the community outside of Sigma Chi too. One of the more famous examples of this is the Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Merlin Olsen who made it to the pro bowl 14 times and is in the Pro Bowl Hall Of Fame. However, it may be his service he provided his community that he will be remembered for. One of the organizations he supported the most was the Children’s Miracle Network for which he frequently hosted their annual fundraising telethon. His dedication to his community was recognized by the Sigma Chi fraternity and they created the Merlin Olsen Day in his honor. On this day every year the Sigma Chi men give back to a local charity or cause.
Merlin Olsen Day of Service Logo
Communities are not self-sustaining. In order to live and grow, communities need individuals to give time and energy toward them without expectations. Through their acts of service and efforts to bettering themselves and the areas around them, the gentlemen of Sigma Chi have shown they are those individuals. Those individuals who will do good even if that means it will be forgotten tomorrow.
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