Under the leadership of President Charlene E. Jones and Vice President/ Program Chairman Nicole S. Fields, the members of Gamma Sigma Omega (GSO) chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated took promoting healthy living and supporting the local community to the next level.
During the summer months chapter members were busy promoting health and wellness by encouraging women to participate in daily walks to prevent heart disease which is a leading cause of death among African American women. Participants of the walking challenge logged their daily steps and each week the participant with the most steps was awarded a gift card. Patsy Herndon, Kanisha White and Katrina Cooper all won gift cards. The grand prize was awarded to Patsy Herndon for completing a total of 178,023 steps during the three-week event. Ms. Herndon said, “I already walk every day but the challenge helped to keep me motivated.” Her comments aligned with GSO’s commitment to move women to develop healthy habits.
In addition to challenging the Savannah community to keep moving and walking, GSO supported First Lady, Dr. Jill Biden’s Vaccination Initiative. On Thursday, July 8th, sixteen (16) members of the sorority attended an event held by Dr. Biden and Senator Raphael Warnock. GSO members in attendance Silviller Watson, Courtney Savage, Jazmyn Frye, Pamela Denson, Jessie Collier, DeLoach, Sylvia Perry, Mary Coleman, Nicole Williams, Brenda D. Kennedy, Emma Conyers, LaShanda Reid, Blanche W. Johnson, LaDuana Bradley, Terri Lewis, Nicole S. Fields, and Charlene E. Jones listened to the First Lady as she spoke of the importance of wide spread vaccination as a vital tool to combat the COVID 19 virus. Dr. Biden emphasized the virus is still out there and that vaccination is essential for preventing its spread. GSO continues to encourage and actively promote COVID 19 vaccinations.
On Thursday, July 22, 2021 GSO donated over 240 pairs of new and gently used eyeglasses, plus accessories to the Lions Club of Savannah. The Chapter also provided over 300 school supplies for the students and sixty (60) cases of paper for the teachers at Haven Elementary School. The sixty (60) cases of paper were secured by Nicole S. Fields, Program Chairman in collaboration with Karen Bogans, Mill Communications Manager at Savannah International Paper. The teachers and students expressed gratitude for such generous donations.
The Chapter held a virtual forum to educate the community on the plight of Refugees. The guest speaker for this forum was Le- Roy Potts, Chief, Research Unit, Refugee, Asylum, International Affairs Director at USCIS, Department of Homeland Security. He spoke on the significance of helping refugees that reside in Georgia.
In addition to working on health and human issues GSO members worked diligently at the Savannah-Chatham County Public School “Forward to School Expo”. Several members spent the day informing the community about the sorority’s Signature Program #CAP (College Admissions Process) which seeks to provide college preparation assistance to area high school juniors and seniors. During this event GSO also held a backpack give away. The new backpacks were loaded with educational essentials and goodies. The winners of the backpacks were Jehemyah Johnson, a senior at Windsor Forest High School and Kalyah Smith a junior at New Hampstead High School
On Saturday, August 7, 2021 the chapter donated 144 backpacks to the J.C. Lewis Primary Healthcare Center. Several chapter members spent the day passing out bookbags and building relationships with parents and children and community members while enjoying the entertainment provided at the venue.
Knowing that there are significant opportunities to serve, the members of Gamma Sigma Omega Chapter will continue to redouble their efforts to support heathy lifestyles and education within our local community.