It happened again today.  It happens several times a year.  It breaks my heart every time.

Well, this is an upbeat start to a Valentine’s Day blog, isn’t it?  But it is timely, too, because who do we care about in this world most: our family and our friends.  And when either of those hurt, we hurt, too.

So what happened? As I sat at work, I received an email letting me know one of our Sigma Kappa sisters suffered a terrible, life-altering event. The email went on to say this sister will probably need the Sigma Kappa Foundation’s financial help down the road to help her carry on from this tragedy.

What is so awful about that, you might ask?  Well, the awful part is that we currently do not have a way to help her.  A fund exists, the Alumnae Heart Fund, however it has not reached its endowment level, so we aren’t able to generate support just yet. The fund was established to provide support to sisters who experience some sort of financial distress from something in their life like a medical, family or personal emergency.

I take the phone calls. I read the emails. Long-term personal health crisis for a sister or immediate family member. Child with special medical needs. Loss of jobs. Foreclosure.

Each time, I have to give the same answer . . .I am so sorry, we can’t help at this time.  Anyone who knows me knows I hate to say no (sometimes to my own detriment).

I keep focusing on getting this fund endowed, as we have everything else in place to begin offering grants to sisters in need.

With just over $26,000 to go, we could accomplish this in a number of ways:

  • 50 sisters giving $250 to the Alumnae Heart Fund ($12,500)
  • 75 sisters giving $100 to the Alumnae Heart Fund ($7,500)
  • 75 sisters giving $50 to the Alumnae Heart Fund ($3,750)
  • 100 sisters giving $25 to the Alumnae Heart Fund ($2,500)
  • Or everyone can support the Alumnae Heart Fund through Amy Phillips’ February Silpada Drive . . . she donates her profit from sales this month to the Alumnae Heart Fund
  • Or host an Alumnae Heart Fund fundraising event of your own!

I remain motivated by the picture of one day being able to call the sister who needs our help and telling her, “Yes, we can!”  It warms my heart to know that day is within reach.


If you would like to contribute to the Alumnae Heart Fund, you can do so here (and select Alumnae Heart Fund for how you would like your gift to make an impact):




This post was written by Lisa Fedler Swiontek, Sigma Kappa Foundation executive director


2 Responses to The Heart of Sigma Kappa

  1. Jenna says:

    The one thing this post is missing is a link to the donation page on the SK Foundation web site. :-)

  2. April is DONATE Life Month – across America! I am a retired RN whose live was saved by a wonderful donor family in 1998. I am a liver transplant recipient of 14 years, and as a Donate Life Ambassador from California, want all my Sigma Kappa sisters know that they too may save lives and improve the lives of over 50 people by registering on the organ and tissue donation registry. Go to and just sign up! It costs the family nothing, and YOU may someday be a HERO to those who have no other way to live! My life was miraculously saved by organ donation, and I have been able to be with my grandchildren and watch them grow up, so I am now advocating for those in this country who cannot because they are too sick, waiting for a life-saving organ or tissues. Please give HOPE to all who need it by this simple act of registration!
    Judy Greeness-Regnier, RN Gamma Zeta, 1959

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