Living Our Values Everyday: Community by Tami Ackerman

By SDT Headquarters,

Twenty five years ago as an undergraduate at the University of Rhode Island, my sisters and I would hold a bake sale in the student union to raise money for Sigma Delta Tau’s only philanthropy at the time, Prevent Child Abuse America (PCAA) (philanthropy and community service were not big events or fundraisers as they are now).  While our donations were small, raising money for PCAA played an important role in reminding our chapter that our actions could make a difference and we could do some good in the world.

Fast-forward 15 years later. SDT now has a new philanthropy partner, Jewish Women International (JWI) and I have been elected to the role of National Vice President of Philanthropy and Programming. Our chapters raised money for JWI’s annual flower project, which delivered flowers to domestic violence shelters on Mother’s Day. As an undergraduate, I interned at the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office and worked on a Domestic Violence hotline, so immediately this philanthropic partnership connected with me.  I immersed myself in my new VP role, working closely with our philanthropic partners, including then JWI CEO Lori Weinstein (SDT 2020 Alumna of the Year) and current JWI CEO Meredith Jacobs. 

Fast forward another 7 years and here I stand today. From simple bake sales to coordinating all three of Sigma Delta Tau’s philanthropic partnerships: Prevent Child Abuse America, Jewish Women International, and the SDT Foundation.  For 38 years, Sigma Delta Tau has supported PCAA in their goal of a world in which no child is ever abused or neglected. Through our partnership with JWI,  SDT has created 2 signature programs: “Safe Smart Dating”—a collaboration with ZBT—and “InveSDT inYourself,” our new financial literacy career development workshop for juniors and seniors.  SDT’s philanthropic partnership with SDT foundation is one that is committed to empowering sisters to grow personally and professionally through scholarship opportunities.  

Philanthropy and community service are the thread that has connected my college experience to my adult life. In addition to serving on the National Board for SDT, I am a past member of the JWI Board of Trustees and am Co-President of the Long Beach Central Council PTA. I can think of no better way to spend my time and energy than to support organizations that make a difference in the lives of others. To see the difference today’s SDT sisters make in their communities is awe-inspiring and is the reason why I have the best job on the National Board. Our sisters are raising over 400 thousand dollars annually for our partner organizations, putting in countless hours of community service, and supporting additional campus philanthropies and causes close to our sisters’ hearts. The value of community is what attracted many sisters to SDT, for others they may have found the value after joining our sisterhood, but either way the sense of philanthropy and generosity found within SDT stays with SDT sisters through every stage of their lives. 

As SigDelts, we would love to hear your stories on how you’re impacting the world around you! Whether through service, bonding events with your chapter, travel or connecting with alumnae, share your stories below or on social media with #WeLiveOurValues on how being an SDT helps you create community in your immediate world, and the larger world around you.

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