At the 32nd National Convention, two new Project I.M.P.A.C.T. (Individuals Making Progress Across Communities Together) areas were elected by vote of the membership. The winning areas include: Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy and Youth and the Arts. Here are a few ways to get involved.
MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS AND ADVOCACY
The Project I.M.P.A.C.T. area Mental Health Awareness and Advocacy includes educational awareness and advocacy service activities related to attaining or maintaining psychological, emotional, and social well-being. This may include, but is not limited, to projects for managing stress, raising self-esteem, educating about mental conditions, promoting treatment of dementia, preventing suicide, or training and education to prevent violence.
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)
Mental Health America (MHA)
Project ideas include:
Organize a stress relief forum and educational session for students, youth, seniors, veterans, or other identified population.
Create a “green ribbon” garden during Mental Health Awareness Month in May.
Make and share green ribbons with awareness information from national nonprofits that work with mental health.
Plan a 5K run, Walk with Me, yoga or tai chi class, or other physical activity event to promote exercise as a form of stress relief.
Organize reflection or listening sessions with groups with facilitators from counseling or mental health organizations.
Coordinate an event or participate in an event for suicide prevention.
Set up a table/booth that allows for screening for depression, stress, and anxiety (with assistance from Counseling Services)
Host activities with therapy dogs or volunteer with organizations that train therapy dogs.
Create a list of campus or community mental health resources and distribute it.
Gamma Sigma Sigma Sorority-Wide Service:
Walk with me, Talk with me Wednesdays. At least one Wednesday a year, members, chapters, and colonies are encouraged to organize programs with their campus counseling center or nonprofit organizations that encourage communication for and/or about mental health-related issues.
YOUTH AND THE ARTS:
Due to tight budgets, schools across the nation are eliminating different art programs throughout their curriculum. However, these extra curricular activities are still an important aspect in the development of children. With this I.M.P.A.C.T. area, our sorority has the opportunity to help maintain and develop different art-based programs throughout our communities. These programs have been shown to decrease the likelihood of juvenile crime rates, as well as to help maintain higher student GPA’s.
The Project I.M.P.A.C.T. area Youth and the Arts includes, but not limited to, visual arts and performing arts education and activities for youth. Visual arts may include painting, drawing, crafts, sculpting, photography, and film-making/videography. Performing arts may include singing, dancing, theater, creative writing, spoken word, magic, and playing instruments.
National Youth Arts
National Endowment for the Arts
US Regional Arts Organization
Boys & Girls Club
Project ideas include:
Read to children at your local library, or form a youth book club, or conduct a summer reading program Collect new or gently used books to give as rewards. Provide art supplies and have participants make their own personal bookmark.
Host an arts night at a local youth center
Coordinate a youth film festival encouraging kids or teens to express themselves through video
Host a poetry, singing, dance, steps, music, painting night or competition
Chaperone and/or provide bus snacks for school cultural field trips.
Create a list of campus or community art and cultural resources and distribute it.
Organize weekly/monthly arts activities at an after-school program
Fund-raise for youth arts program
Collect art and clean-up supplies for youth programs
Volunteer work with performing arts events (publicizing, ushering, program booklet design or distribution, making or serving beverages and snacks for intermission, etc.)