SIDNEY — When Barri Grandey, of Sidney, president of the local Delta Kappa Gamma (DKG) chapter, attended the sorority’s state convention in April, she was inspired by the state president’s biennium theme: To Dream, To Dare, To Do.
Grandey, in turn, was ready to inspire Shelby County DKG members to complete a project for charity. She just didn’t know what the project would be.
Then in September, Sarah Dirksen, Shelby County Children’s Services supervisor, presented a program to the sorority. She discussed the challenges the agency faces when children must be taken out of their homes, sometimes in the middle of the night.
“They leave with nothing. Or what they have, they put in a garbage bag or a Walmart sack,” Grandey said, recently.
DKG members, all current or former educators, decided in October that their charity project would be to purchase items for Children’s Services that could be given to children moving into foster care.
Pajamas, underwear, socks, toys, diapers, blankets, backpacks suitable for all ages — from babies to high-schoolers — were needed. Grandey sent out a list and the sorority responded. Fifty-five members contributed. Thursday, Grandey’s SUV was packed to the gills with their purchases.
But it wasn’t just DKG who donated items. Grandey told a friend about the group’s project. Cindy Trent is a women’s health nurse practitioner at Wilson Health OB-GYN. Trent invited her colleagues there and in the Wilson Helath Pediatric Office to participte.
“At Christmas, we try to do some kind of donation. This is the first time that both offices joined together, because we take care of a lot of patients who are in need. The pediatric office does, as well,” Trent said. Grandey noted that Trent’s office sees the moms and the pediatric office sees the kids.
The Wilson Health employees put their purchases into boxes Trent set up in their break rooms. DKG members took theirs to their December meeting.
Dirksen was surprised by the number of items Grandey delivered to her, Thursday. It took three people three trips to unload them all.
“There is one whole backpack full of toothbrushes and toothpaste,” Grandey said. “And almost $800 in gift cards. It’s just unreal. Even two of my grandkids got in on the action.”
“We’re very grateful for the donations that Delta Kappa Gamma and Wilson Health made to the children of Shelby County,” Dirksen said. “I think there were a lot of generous, giving people who truly care about children and wanted to give and donate to a good cause. It was certainly a pleasant surprise.”
Currently, there are 56 children in foster care, in homes with kinship providers or with relative caregivers.
To donate to the Job and Family Services department, call 498-4981 and follow the phone prompts for the intake line.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4824.