News, Trident | November 15, 2018

One-hundred and thirty years ago, Tri Delta was founded as a society that would be “kind alike to all.” For our Trident Founders’ Day issue and as we prepared to celebrate 130 years of kindness this Founders’ Day, we asked Tri Deltas to share how their sisters have touched their lives with kindness. Six brave and bold Tri Deltas shared their stories.

Kindness Stories from Tri Delta Executive Office on Vimeo.

Reagan Rockholm, Idaho
It took just three days for me to understand that sisterhood was more than a label – it was a promise.

My sister was diagnosed with cancer the summer that I went through recruitment at the University of Idaho and I was looking for a support system. I hadn’t even been given a bid yet when a Tri Delta member showed me complete compassion and was a shoulder for me to cry on, more than friends from home that I had known since the second grade. Three days after Bid Day, I was astonished when a $1,500 donation hit the GoFundMe set up to support my sister’s treatment. These women who I called my Tri Delta sisters, without understanding what that meant, chose to take on my burden as their own.

The support I got went beyond money. They were the ones to celebrate the victories of my sister’s successful treatments and hold me during her re-diagnosis. It was texts sent on the mornings of surgeries, flowers sent to hospital rooms and comfort given to my parents in knowing that I was being taken care of when their focus was centered on my sister. Tri Delta held me together for over a year, not because of the label of sisterhood, but because of the promise of unconditional love and self-sacrifice that sisterhood means to our members.

Kristi Anderson Horner, Denison
It was May 30, 2014, the day my life was changed forever. The day my brother died by suicide.

It was just four weeks until Tri Delta’s Convention, and I knew my Tri Delta friends were going to try to talk me out of attending. Here is an excerpt from the email I immediately sent to my Tri Delta colleagues and friends:

“You all know me pretty well by now, I don’t ‘hide’ much, if anything. Tri Delta has also offered me much in the way of strength and support, love and kindness. While I imagine that everyone will want to allow me time and space to heal … please allow me this ‘normalcy’ that my DDD volunteer work provides in the face of difficult days ahead. I promise to ask for help when I need it (like now!), and I promise to not take on too much or more than I can handle, and I promise to fill you in on what I can and cannot do/handle. But, allow me the opportunity to do what I can, as this little bit of ‘normal’ may be all that I have to get through some rough days. Convention will provide me a nice distraction (and bright light) amidst the chaos. Seeing each of you will bring me great comfort and joy. I’ll need joy.”

What followed were moments, weeks, months and years of unconditional love, support and kindness on levels I never thought possible. From meals to texts, calls, notes and hugs, I’ve been buoyed on days I didn’t think I had it in me to carry on. I absolutely would not have gotten to this point (you don’t ever ‘get over’ losing someone you love to suicide) without my Tri Delta sisters.

Shaylyn Smith, Clemson
Clemson was my dream school, and when I was with Tri Delta during recruitment, it felt like my dream home. I was so nervous that I was not going to get Tri Delta, but my favorite moment was when I found out that I got Tri Delta.

I was in shock because I didn’t know if they were going to choose me to be in their sorority, but when they did, I was really happy. I love hanging out with my sisters and have enjoyed getting to meet everyone. They have invited me over to hang outwith them, get dinner with them, and get to know each other. I never had a sister before. I only have brothers, and I have always dreamed of having sisters. The best part about having sisters is they are always there for me.

Beth Applebaum, Texas Christian
That day in March 1991 had begun before dawn with a chilling blow. My pediatrician called us at 6 a.m. to inform us that our 7-year-old son had been diagnosed with leukemia. Our doctor then set up an appointment for us to meet with oncologists at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas that morning to start treatment.

While we were sitting in the crowded waiting area at Children’s trying to keep our son occupied, I was surprised to see my Tri Delta little sister walk up to the check-in desk. It had been nearly 14 years since we had seen each other, but she looked the same and greeted me warmly. She was there with her daughter who had just completed her final check-up after treatment for leukemia, and we sincerely appreciated her words of empathy and encouragement at the time. I have never forgotten her kindness and the reassuring example she gave us on an extremely dark day.

Brittany Bustos, Pacific
Spring 2016 was a wonderful, yet difficult, time in my life. I had just joined Tri Delta the semester before, was living in the house, and began dating my now boyfriend. But, his mother fell ill that semester and he had to drive home five hours, weekend after weekend, to stay with her in the hospital. His entire family was spending day and night taking care of her. They were also spending countless dollars on hospital bills, often being left with not much money to pay for food, toiletries and other necessities.


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