A grant from Tri Delta’s Crescent Fund can be a lifeline for sisters facing an unforeseen financial crisis—and right now our sisters’ needs have never been greater. This year one kind sister, Bette Chwalisz, Illinois State, decided the time was right to pay it forward to a sisterhood who had supported her during a difficult period many years ago.
Bette and her husband were living in Cleveland, Ohio, when their daughter, Sarah, was born. A new mother with her own parents in another state, it was a financially and emotionally tough period for Bette and her husband. Bette recalls how appreciative she was of the kindness of her sisters in the Cleveland East Alumnae Chapter. “The Delta loving kindness helped me feel safe and valued. As a mother of a young child, I was finding my way! Those Cleveland East Tri Delta sisters were there to help.”
Unfortunately, Bette and her family had to make the decision to move back to Illinois to be close to family. Turning again to Tri Delta, Bette attended an alumnae chapter meeting in Elgin, a distance from her, but the closest chapter to where she was living. Again, she was welcomed with open arms.
One sister, in particular, became a close friend—Betty Pollock, the chapter president, whom Bette describes as a “true and bold sister”, encouraged her to start a chapter closer to her home.
“How could I do that with my marriage crumbling, a small child and full-time job?” Bette wondered at the time. “Somehow I took on the challenge with bravery and the help of kindness from others.”
Armed with a list from Executive Office and a phone book, Bette set to work calling each sister—a joy and a challenge, she says.
“Some of the women on the other end of the phone were kind and pleased to be part of a local Tri Delta chapter. Others said in a variety of ways they were not interested. … As time went by, I understood that there is an ebb and flow to participation, but Tri Delta is always in the hearts of the women who were initiated.”
In 1987, the chapter received its charter. “Our sisterhood continues with love and strength 30 years later,” Bette says.
Shortly after establishing the chapter, Bette and her husband divorced. Bette found herself a single mom with financial struggles. But one day, while reading The Trident magazine, she was reminded that the Crescent Fund was there to help sisters in need.
She reached out to Executive Office, and once again Tri Delta answered the call to support her in every possible way. “The response was quick and deeply comforting,” she recalls. The Crescent Fund grant helped her pay rent, cover other necessary expenses and not have to worry so much about her financial situation.
Paying It Forward
Since that time, Bette has gladly written letters in support of other Tri Deltas in need, and she has provided assistance to Beta Omicron Chapter or other collegians in McHenry County.
But she also felt strongly that she should give back to Tri Delta’s Foundation financially, specifically to support the Crescent Fund. “I want other Tri Deltas to know that helping others is what we do when we can,” she says.
“Being a member of Delta Delta Delta has given me the opportunity to meet extraordinary women in different parts of the country. A loving spirit displayed for me in deep water is a hallmark of grace that I felt and still feel as a Tri Delta. Now, it is a privilege to be able to give financial support to our Fraternity, to return the favor which was a gift for me and my daughter.”
To join Bette in helping sisters in need, donate to Tri Delta’s Foundation today.