The Physical and Mental Health Committee of Gary Alumnae Chapter is known for its deep roots within the community. We continuously strive to raise awareness to address the importance of living a healthy lifestyle not only physically, but mentally as well. As an organization of predominantly African American women, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. is uniquely positioned to impact not only the well-being of its membership but also the well-being of families and communities at large. Gary Alumnae Chapter is proud to participate in numerous activities throughout the year.
This committee reached out on a more personable level with “Lunch with the Doctor,” with our very own, Dr. Deborah McCullough, a leading OB/GYN in the NWI area who hosted the lunch series since from 2008 – 2017. During Lunch with the Doctor, Dr. McCullough addressed the rising number of health issues that impact the African American community such as Diabetes, HIV/AIDS, and Cancer. Most importantly, Lunch with the Doctor offered resources to address these issues head-on. Information was presented that was educational on health, life’s resources and on government resources that people don’t know are available.
Another example of how this committee has planted its roots in the community includes the Breast Cancer Walk (Making Strides Against Breast Cancer). This is one of the largest networks of breast cancer awareness events in the nation, uniting nearly 300 communities with a shared determination to finish the fight. By signing up, fundraising, and participating in one of our non-competitive, three- to five-mile walks, you will help us be there for everyone in every community touched by breast cancer. You will help those who are currently dealing with a breast cancer diagnosis, those who may face a diagnosis in the future, and those who may avoid a diagnosis altogether thanks to education and prevention. Over the years, Gary Alumnae Chapter has raised over $3000.00 for supporting the fight against Breast Cancer. Please join us in October at Hidden Lake Park in Merrillville for this annual walk. This year we held a virtual walk and members shared photos and videos of them walking for breast cancer individually.
The Domestic Violence Candlelight Vigil with the City of Gary has been held since 2015. This vigil remembers those who have lost their lives to domestic violence and to acknowledge those individuals that are survivors as well. We host DV workshops & presentations that feature leading activists, lawmakers, and specialists who educate the masses on this growing problem in the U.S. Our goal is to continue to educate and bring awareness to the importance of balancing physical and mental health locally and nationally. This year, the Sexual and Domestic Violence Committee held their first-ever virtual Red Table Talk which featured DV staff persons from various agencies, police departments, testimonies from survivors, and family members for a truthful talk about domestic violence.
National Diabetes Day is celebrated every November. GAC participates in the national campaign, “I Stop Diabetes.” ID is the Association’s movement to end the devastating toll that diabetes takes on the lives of millions of individuals and families across our nation. Join the Millions® in the Movement. Together we can Stop Diabetes. ® We make our communities aware by posting information at local church services simultaneously throughout the NW Indiana surrounding area. The information keeps our audiences who may not be engaged with social media informed of how diabetes can affect your life. This year, our National Diabetes Day was virtual and our campaigns were shared with various church congregations in NWI through their social media networks.
March of Dimes (March for Babies)- This walk takes place every May in Highland, IN at Highland High School. This walk is dedicated to one of the number one killers of children and that is prematurity. Each year 15 million babies are born prematurely costing families over $50,000 in medical cost. Please join us in the spring as we fight against premature births. (This event may be virtual).
Do you know what causes heart disease in women? What about the survival rate? Or whether women of all ethnicities share the same risk? The fact is: Heart disease is the No. 1 killer of women, causing 1 in 3 deaths each year. That’s approximately one woman every minute! The American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement advocates for more research and swifter action for women’s heart health for this very reason. In this section, we’ll arm you with the facts and dispel some myths – because the truth can no longer be ignored. GAC’s “GO RED for Women” is celebrated in February and usually recognizes women who suffer from heart disease and celebrates survivors.
Lupus is one of the cruelest and mysterious diseases on earth. It strikes without warning, has unpredictable and sometimes fatal effects, lasts a lifetime, and has no known cause or cure. It is more pervasive than you think and impacts people on a scale that the public does not realize. GAC has participated in the walk since 2014. Please join us for the walk that takes place in Crown Point, IN in May. (This walk may be virtual).
National MOTTEP® is the National Minority Organ and Tissue Transplant Education Program. It is the first program of its kind in the country designed to: Educate minority communities on facts about organ and tissue transplantation; Empower minority communities to develop transplant education programs that allow them to become involved in addressing the shortage of donors; Increase minority participation in organ/tissue transplant endeavors including signing organ donor cards; Encourage and increase family discussions related to organ and tissue donation; Increase the number of minorities who donate organs and tissues. GAC participates in an annual Youth Summit & Bowl-A-Thon to help continuously spread the word about the importance of minority organ transplants. This year MOTTEP held a youth summit online via Zoom due to COVID-19 and GAC was a part of it as a partner.
Watch for us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and this website to see where we’re doing. Check us out on our next walk/run. JOIN US!
*Please note, all events are virtual due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Shalonda Hall is the chair of the GAC Physical and Mental Health Committee.