March seems to be the giving month of the spring semester. Following the Pi Kappa Phi and Kappa Sigma’s Fish Fry, the Chi Omega chapter held their 25th annual Spaghetti Dinner on March 4th to benefit Make-A-Wish Missouri. Chi Omega has been nationally paired with the Make-a-Wish foundation since 2001; however the Eta Kappa chapter at Missouri S&T has been supporting the same foundation for the past 24 years. In the past, the sorority sponsored three wishes for local children through the Make-A-Wish foundation such as a Nickelodeon cruise, a trip to Hawaii, and a vacation to Legoland!
The Make-A-Wish foundation is the national philanthropy Chi Omega has chosen to pair with and support. Every year thousands of volunteers, supporters, and donors work to advance the Make-A-Wish vision to grant a wish of every child diagnosed with a life-threatening, medical condition. The belief that drives the foundation is that wishes make life better for kids with life-threatening conditions. They serve a vital role in helping encourage and empower children to keep hope and keep fighting in spite of their illness. Happiness and love is the cure for them. On an average, a wish is granted every 35 minutes in the United States of America! In 2015, they granted over 14,800 wishes, the most in its 35 year history. It costs about $6,500, on an average, to grant one wish. The Walt Disney Company is involved in half of these wishes granted. Celebrities or people of influence even partake in the process. For example, John Cena, notable wrestler and occasional guest actor, has granted the most wishes as an individual. He has granted over 500 wishes for children through the Make-A-Wish foundation.
In the past year, Chi Omega has raised about $15,000 towards the Make-A-Wish foundation and within the last three years, they helped raising $30,000 through campus support, the Greek community, and the Rolla community. They have made a difference in many children’s lives through volunteering time, talents, and money. They have organized and sponsored successful events through volunteering and fundraising projects that have raised financial support and public awareness for the cause. Over the course of years, Chi Omega has raised over $6.5 million all throughout the states and donated over 400,000 hours to the foundation. This helped in granting wishes for over 890 children. Throughout the year, S&T’s Chi Omega chapter holds two fundraising events. In the spring, they hold an all-you-can eat Spaghetti Dinner to raise awareness and funds to sponsor wishes. In the fall, they host "Wish Week", an entire week to raise awareness about their philanthropy, including a Pancake Breakfast to wrap up the week. In the past, they have done events like car washes and flag football tournaments during the Wish Week.
This year Chi Omega is helping sponsor an 8 year-old girl named Susan, who is battling cystic fibrosis. It is caused by a defect in the gene that affects cells that produce mucus, sweat and digestive juices. It causes the fluids to thicken and become sticky in the lungs, pancreas and gradually into liver, kidneys, and intestines. The main symptoms of cystic fibrosis are sweat, poor growth, and poor weight gain. To alleviate these symptoms, the affected person is plugged with tubes, ducts and passageways. Susan’s wish is to go and enjoy the wonderful experiences of Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Chi Omega’s members have volunteered over 300 hours to make this particular wish possible. It is great to know that people never mind giving up some of their time to help those in need. One must always appreciate those who are willing to get their hands dirty for any kind of cause related to helping someone and spending time with them. Ultimately, optimism is the faith that leads to achievement and hope will ignite imagination, all of which Chi Omega and the Make-A-Wish foundation hope to instill in a child’s life through their philanthropic efforts in granting a child’s wish.