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FROM READERS: Panhellenic organization raises money to build school in Central America

Tuesday, September 10, 2013 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Jory Mick is the vice president of public relations for the Panhellenic Association and the director of public relations for the Mizzou Circle of Sisterhood.

Mizzou Circle of Sisterhood will host its first ever 5K walk/run Sept. 14, when we will “Run for the Girls.” All proceeds will go toward fundraising efforts for a school to be built in Nicaragua for girls and 14 Mizzou sorority women will be selected to travel to help build the school in June 2014.

On April 30, the University of Missouri Panhellenic Association and the Mizzou Circle of Sisterhood welcomed Ginny Carroll, who founded the national Circle of Sisterhood Foundation. At the event, the Panhellenic Association announced a $20,000 donation to the Circle of Sisterhood Foundation and committed to building a school in an underdeveloped country.

To fundraise the remaining amount needed to build a school, Mizzou Circle of Sisterhood will host a different event each month. In August, during formal recruitment, Panhellenic hosted a movie night showing "Girl Rising," a documentary that showcases women in the developing world and their stories of survival. At the end of the fall semester, we hope to have all the money to complete the school.

It all started in March 2013 when the University of Missouri Panhellenic Association decided to make the Circle of Sisterhood its Panhellenic philanthropy. At the beginning of the spring semester, the organization had started hosting weekly meetings, and all interested sorority women were invited to attend. At the first meeting, so many women attended to learn about Circle of Sisterhood that people had to sit on the floor. The following week, the meeting moved to a larger classroom, but it was still not big enough as even more sorority women came out to support the cause. Currently, the meetings are held in a lecture hall that can hold 80 people. The Mizzou Panhellenic community has welcomed Circle of Sisterhood with open arms.

The women attending the meetings became passionate about the cause. At each meeting, groups brainstormed ideas to create continued awareness around campus.  One idea was hosting weekly screenings of the "Half the Sky" documentary in April. Women from 16 different sororities attended the screenings. After April, more than 100 Panhellenic women had seen "Half the Sky" and were aware of the abuse of women in underdeveloped countries. After each screening, thoughtful discussion followed and women became even more passionate about the cause.

This semester, Mizzou Circle of Sisterhood will host general meetings every other week to educate sorority women about the circle. Mizzou Panhellenic and Mizzou Circle of Sisterhood are thrilled to have the opportunity to build a school in an underdeveloped country and to help change the lives of many women.

If you would like to get involved, please like Mizzou Circle of Sisterhood on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. If you would like to register for the 5K, click here.

If you would like to donate to the school please click here.

This story is part of a section of the Missourian called From Readers, which is dedicated to your voices and your stories. We hope you'll consider sharing. Here's how. Supervising editor is Joy Mayer.


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