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Alpha Sigma Tau chooses Habitat as national service project

Alpha Sigma Tau chooses Habitat for Humanity as national service project
Sorority looks to involve its many collegiate, alumnae chapters

SAVANNAH, Ga., June 25, 2004 – Amid the jumble of workshops, business meetings and sisterhood activities at their annual convention, Alpha Sigma Tau members held true to their commitment to service, declaring Habitat for Humanity International Alpha Sigma Tau’s national service project.

“Habitat for Humanity is a natural partner for Alpha Sigma Tau,” said Patricia Simmons, national president, at the sorority’s annual convention in Savannah. “Habitat’s mission to end poverty housing by making safe and decent shelter a matter of conscience, regardless of political, social or religious difference, mirrors our beliefs and motto of being ‘active, reliant and trustworthy.’”

The announcement provides Alpha Sigma Tau members and alumnae a range of partnering opportunities, from working with Habitat Campus Chapters on their campuses; to working with nearly 2,000 Habitat affiliates across the United States; to working with Collegiate Challenge, school break house builds held across the country; to Global Village trips, working with families in need around the world.

“Because we have chapters in many of the communities in which Habitat already works, this enables Alpha Sigma Tau to establish a national service project that provides service at a local level,” says Simmons. “With this, college chapters and alumnae groups can give back to their own communities, they can work in their own back yards.”

The partnership significantly expands the philanthropy of the Birmingham-based sorority, which also supports Pine Mountain Settlement School in Harlan, Ky., as its national philanthropy. Alpha Sigma Tau national council members said they might blend the support by doing some homebuilding in the Harlan community to compliment the work with the environmental education center.

Among potential Habitat partnership projects are:
• Assisting in building a new home with the partner Habitat family
• Creating housewarming gifts
• Registering volunteers at the construction sites
• Baby-sitting for children of homeowners and volunteers
• Speaking about the work and mission of Habitat for Humanity International
• Starting a Habitat Campus Chapter and becoming active members
• Writing about a Habitat experience for local or collegiate papers

“We’re so proud to be affiliated with such an outstanding group of women,” says Sandra Graham, director for special projects in Habitat’s U.S. Affiliates Department. “Their service ethic and commitment to making a difference are so strong, and it adds another voice to Habitat’s growing chorus that everyone deserves a simple, decent place to live.”

“The opportunities to get involved are nearly endless,” says Simmons. “Especially with programs such as Habitat’s Women Build,” which encourage women to get involved the construction of Habitat houses. “Women-built projects such as these will provide our members an opportunity to learn construction in a supportive environment and to develop skills they can use throughout their lives.”

Members also say the partnership will allow them to leave something behind that has such meaning as a home for a hardworking and committed family. “The work itself would be rewarding,” says Simmons. “Getting to know the family, the volunteers; but being able to stand and see your work and knowing the change it will bring … that’s pretty special.”

About Alpha Sigma Tau
Alpha Sigma Tau sorority was founded Nov. 4, 1899, at Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Mich. The purpose of Alpha Sigma Tau is to promote the ethical, cultural, and social development of its members. The sorority offers membership programming with an emphasis on academic achievement, community service, leadership development, and personal growth opportunities.

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International, based in Americus, Ga., is a Christian ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing. By the end of 2005, Habitat will have built its 200,000th house and more than one million people will be living in Habitat homes they helped build and are buying through no-profit, zero-interest mortgages.