First and foremost, to each and everyone of the people that helped put this together within 48 hours I wish there were more words to extend how grateful I am.
“There is no better exercise for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.”
Never in my life have I ever been more humbled, or grateful for the people that have come into it. These people who have stepped up, and have made themselves available to pour their hearts into someone they don’t even know is completely inspiring and I will forever be speechless, and forever be so grateful.
On Wednesday, December 13 I received a Facebook message from a dear friend telling me that she had gotten me a Christmas present and to meet her in her dorm room (two doors down) at 9 pm. At the time, I was at dinner with lovely people and all of the sudden I left because I had become so emotional. I went to bathroom, called my mom, and told her about what had just happened. After holding together for a few minutes, I was a mess of tears and mascara dripping down my hot cheeks. I was a mess, because I knew I couldn’t give back what this girl was giving to me, and even though she got me what I needed, there was no way for me to give her back what she really needed at that time.
Once I felt as though I had decently pulled it together, I went back to dinner and almost immediately started to bawl again. Sitting in front of 5 of the most comfortable and familiar faces I was embarrassed. I didn’t understand why someone giving me a christmas present could make me feel so guilty and upset. Usually, I would’ve been overjoyed. So I asked them: “Could we all try and put together some gifts to give her a christmas before we leave?” They all agreed and we carried on with our night.
However, again I began to feel like this wasn’t enough and like I wasn’t doing enough for someone who needed it. I began to type on my phones “note app” and I poured my heart into my beautiful friends horrific story and sent it to the people who have been so extremely supportive in the weeks prior.
Hey ladies, I hope finals week isn’t super stressful for you all! So, I have a good friend on my floor who has been really struggling this semester and I wanted to tell you guys a little bit about what’s been going on: basically, she has been “homeless” all of high school, going to school while working full time to support herself and try to afford rent on an apartment all because her mother wouldn’t be there for her, and she has no other family to be taken care of by. Recently, she couldn’t afford her phone bill so that was stopped, however she could still use her phone when it was connected to the internet. Unfortunately, it was dropped and shattered and she’s been phoneless since early October. On top of that, she recently found out her liver was failing her so she’s been feeling awful and randomly violently vomiting. She doesn’t have health insurance, but she is staying in the dorm and also must afford to buy groceries for all of break. I have been so humbled by her, because though she has had all of that going on, she messaged me today saying she had bought me a Christmas gift. So despite her having nothing, and over break no one, she is still giving. She is the type of person who would give her shirt off her back to someone who needed it, even if she needed it more. I am wondering if you would want to donate a gift so I can secretly decorate her room and put gifts under a fake tree that I have. Anything like an old shirt or hat, to lotion you’ve never used, a mug, candy, socks, literally anything just to give her some sort of Christmas since she has no one to celebrate with or to get gifts even though if anyone, she deserves that the most. I’d be so willing to pick up anything from anywhere on campus, just let me know if you guys have anything. It would mean the world to me.
Thank you sisters, I hope you all have wonderful evenings.
Once I put that in my sororities group chat it blew up instantly, and within the first hour I had two girls bring car fulls of things for my friend from new bedding, to mittens because she has no winter stuff, to chocolate and even an ipod touch. Also, within the chat people who had already gone home with break asked if they could venmo me money for gifts and groceries. (I’m the worst type of person without a venmo) So I created a GoFundMe for her, making the goal $300 even though I thought that would be extremely high- it would pay for her to fix her phone and get the tire she desperately needed on her car, then shared the link with them. Within the first 30 minutes we had reached our goal, within the hour we were at $380.
Sitting in my friends dorm room, we were all so extremely shocked by the love and compassion that had been shown by my own sorority. We decided to reach out to my friends sororities as well. Within minutes, all of the group chats were blowing up with overwhelming messages of support and kindness, and car loads of goodies were brought by 5 amazing different sororities who were kind enough to bring Christmas cheer to a complete and total stranger. The character that speaks towards Kappa Kappa Gamma (my own personal sorority), Pi Beta Phi, Delta Gamma, Sigma Kappa, and Delta Zeta is impeccable and I have no words to even describe how amazing that is as chapters to come together to give someone so deserving a christmas like they did.
That next day, we went to each sorority picking up gifts they had set aside for our friend. Walking throughout greek land, we joked as though we were santa claus, carrying these gigantic bags of presents that my friend would soon be receiving. (and receive she did) The rest of the day, was spent gift wrapping, hiding from my friend behind a locked door, and sorting through the insane amounts of clothing, food, toiletries, and other amazing gifts. Just that day, my friend on the floor had come to me saying she didn’t know what she would eat over break, and inside I smiled because I knew she would have plenty.
Friday morning, our friend was taken out to breakfast and we only had an hour and a half to completely clean, restore, and decorate her room to make it as festive and fun as possible. After amazing Christmas candles were lit, spotify blasting, we were able to transform and make the room look more amazing than I’m guessing any dorm room has ever looked before. This, was all due to the kindness and generosity of all of our sisters coming together to support an amazing and deserving girl. Watching her reaction, her face seeing the gifts, and her opening them was more fulfilling than anything I have ever personally experienced. Her fridge and freezer was stocked thanks to the kindness of Kappa Kappa Gamma’s Chef Jeff, she was gifted new bedding, all of the toiletries any girl would ever need and much much more.
Not to mention, as of a few days ago, the GoFundMe went from surpassing the goal, to doubling it, to tripling it, and as of right now it is at $2,013! (which is absolutely insane.)
I would like to just thank again, my sisters who jumped on the opportunity to help someone who needed support. My house mom Gail, and again our amazing Chef Jeff for putting together meals with no notice at all. Kappa Kappa Gamma has shown me the true meaning of sisterhood, yes it does mean friendship. But it also means coming together as one whole and supporting someone, looking past themselves though we all had finals the next morning and helping and giving. That is sisterhood, and I could not be any more thankful. I would also like to thank my friends (family): Christina, Shannon, Ella, Molly, Ben, and Kyle for coming together to help be Elves and wrap for hours at a time, pick up insane amounts of gifts, and for extending this story to their own amazing sororities who also jumped as quick as they found out to help and support her. I have never seen a Christmas miracle quite like this one, and I don’t know if I ever will again, but I am so grateful that these amazing people were able to make this entire thing happen.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, and I encourage you to surround yourself with selfless people, just like the people I have been so blessed to have come into my life.