The DeLand Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority is a nonprofit organization of women committed to the constructive development of its members and to public service, with a primary focus in West Volusia.

This chapter was chartered March 30, 1992, and many of the more than 20 members were a part of the original charter.

These women wanted to increase partnerships in the West Volusia area and increase outreach through service and scholarships close to home.

Under the leadership of newly elected President Valenthia Van Meter, the DeLand Alumnae Chapter strives to maintain continued growth in the community in the areas of education and health care, and hopes to help decrease the number of homeless in DeLand.

Since the start of the new sorority year, July 1, the sorority has participated in the Spring Hill Breast Cancer Walk, with Althea Chavers and the Boys and Girls Club, and in Operation Shoe Box, and the distribution of four Thanksgiving baskets to deserving families in the DeLand area.

A quote from Edward Everett Hale describes their inspiration: “I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something; and because I cannot do everything, I will not refuse to do something that I can do.”

These words resonate with sorority member Tonya Griffith, as she reflects on her reason for joining the sorority while in college more than 20 years ago.

The chapter is in the process of their annual Christmas Toy Drive for children in the DeLand community, and preparing for a fundraiser to raise money for other community projects.

An upcoming event is the “RED Carpet Gala” Friday, Jan. 11. The proceeds will help the chapter give high-school seniors scholarships and will fund other community projects.

“I believe that being a Delta is important because we have a sisterhood of committed women who are striving to make a positive impact in the lives of people in our community and throughout the world,” Celestine Thomas said.

If you would like more information about the DeLand Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, email Van Meter at delandalumnaepresident@gmail.com.

— Cameron, a longtime educator, lives in Orange City. Send email to cameronchronicleslive@gmail.com.