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It’s a sisterhood that began at Howard University in 1913. Their mission then was simple: To promote academic excellence and to assist those in need.

Today, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. has grown to include 300,000 members across more than 1,000 chapters around the world. Over a century later, they have remained true to that original mission.

We are so grateful for that because, for years now, LifeStyles of Maryland and the community we serve have been the beneficiaries of the overflowing kindness and generosity of these sisters.

Members of the Fort Washington Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. are among our most active partners.

Opal Snelling Moore has been a member of Delta since 1983, and recently she ascended to the role of president of the Fort Washington Alumnae Chapter.

“The good thing about the members in the chapter, not just ours but the sorority as a whole, is that we recognize that what we do is just a means of helping those who are less fortunate,” she said.

Prior to the pandemic, they volunteered serving meals to the homeless inside our winter Safe Nights shelters.

During the pandemic, they rallied the sisters to gather donations of food, water, clothing, hygiene items and more so that they could be distributed to those in need.

This spring, one member decided that on her birthday, rather than receive gifts from friends and family, she would request that they donate to LifeStyles for our Nanjemoy Initiative that serves families in the most rural areas of Charles County.

The result?

More than 2,000 pounds of clean, bottled water. For those families without running water in their homes, that water could be used for drinking, cooking or bathing. What seems the simplest thing for many of us was a lifeline for those families.

In the fall, 51 sorority members participated in our Virtual Walk to End Homelessness in Southern Maryland. Together, they raised more than $1,300 to help provide food, shelter and resources for the homeless.

“It’s difficult to quantify what the sisters of the Fort Washington Alumnae Chapter have meant to us,” LifeStyles Executive Director Sandy Washington said. “Whenever there is a need in our community, we know that we can reach out to them. They always come through for us.”

Moore, the chapter president, said that the sisters are always eager to serve because they recognize the line that separates those in need from those with the means to help is often very thin.

“I can say to you without hesitation that being able to provide whatever resources we have is truly something that is heartwarming,” she said. “I don’t take what I do and the position that I’m in lightly. I know that at any moment I can certainly be in that same predicament.”

Are you interested in learning more about volunteering with LifeStyles as an individual or organization? We’d love to speak with you. Fill out the form on our Volunteering page or contact Tammy Gausman at 301-609-9900 or TGausman@LifeStylesOfMD.org.