UM Tri Delta Chapter Trying to Reach Goal for St. Jude

Chi chapter has raised more than $160,000 for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital

The University of Mississippi’s Delta Delta Delta (more commonly known as Tri Delta) chapter needs help from the Ole Miss family.

The University of Mississippi’s Delta Delta Delta (more commonly known as Tri Delt) chapter needs help from the Ole Miss family in raising support for St. Jude's.

Members of the Chi chapter of Delta Delta Delta need help from the Ole Miss family in raising support for St. Jude.

Members of the Chi chapter of Tri Delta are looking for donations for the sorority’s national philanthropy, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Currently, the Tri Delts are in second place in the running for being crowned top fundraising chapter in the nation.

Chapter president Mary Elizabeth Kakales, 21-year-old senior general studies and public policy leadership major from Memphis, Tennessee, said she is proud of the work her chapter has done.

“Overall, we have raised over $160,000,” Kakales said. “Just goes to show you what you can do when you put your mind to it.”

Sydney Reid, 19-year-old sophomore Tri Delta member and communication sciences and disorders major from Grenada, said fundraising efforts mean more than just winning the competition.

“Last summer, a little girl from hometown was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and was sent to St. Jude for treatment,” Reid said. “This was also around the time that I began to think about sorority recruitment, and I knew that St. Jude was Tri Delta’s philanthropy.”

After joining Tri Delta, Reid learned that the girl from her hometown was told she was cancer-free in the fall.

“In October, she was our guest of honor at Tri Delta’s annual Delta House of Pancakes fundraiser,” Reid said. “It was just incredible to have her there because it allowed the girls in our chapter, as well as everyone from around the community in attendance, to meet someone who Tri Delta’s fundraising helped.”

Annual visits to St. Jude each spring, as well as visits from patients, put things in perspective for Tri Delta members.

“While there, we get the privilege of touring the incredible campus, seeing the newly opened Tri Delta Place, which provides housing for patients and families, and listening to a testimony of a St. Jude patient,” Reid said. “Winning this competition would be such a humbling honor and such a blessing because it makes all the hard work even more worth it.”

“Our trip to St. Jude allows us to put a face with those we are trying to help,” Kakales said. “We are able to see what our work has done firsthand for a family in need.”

Hands-on sorority presidents such as Kakales and exuberant members such as Reid set the tone for the chapter to be steadfast in its philanthropy but also inspire others in the community to give.

“Even different organizations on campus are donating to St. Jude for us, and I cannot even express in words how much this support means to us,” Reid said. “I fundraise with Tri Delta not for my own benefit but for the benefit of those at St. Jude.”

Kakales has been humbled by the experience and expresses her gratitude to the members who have worked tirelessly and individuals donating to the cause.

“This experience has been incredible,” she said. “With over 430 girls in the chapter, it is difficult to bring all of them together. The leadership has worked to unify the chapter under the common goal to do something for others, and St. Jude is such an amazing organization. Even if we do not win, this experience has still been absolutely incredible and gives us a goal for next year.”

Help the Chi chapter of Tri Delta reach its goal while also donating to St. Jude by following this link. Once there, type in “Mississippi” in the college/university box, and select “University of Mississippi-Chi chapter.”