This month is historically dedicated to the remembrance of women responsible for the advancement of womankind everywhere; the pioneers, the risk-takers, the heroines. And, the Alpha Gamma Deltas.
Did you know that one of your sisters founded Meals on Wheels in the United States?
Following the Blitz of World War II in 1947, the first Meals on Wheels meal was delivered to feed those in Great Britain who had lost their homes. This main mission, providing those in need of food with meals delivered directly to them, carried over into the United States of America in 1956 by one of our very own sisters! Margaret Toy, initiated into the Alpha Epsilon chapter in 1931, was working as a social worker in Philadelphia when the idea came to her. Many elderly shut-ins, those who were not ill enough to remain in the hospital but still too ill to leave their homes, were incapable of getting or making their own food. Margaret had the idea of asking young people, typically in high school, to prepare and deliver the food to the grateful recipients. So thankful and touched by the aid provided by Meals on Wheels, the customers even began to call these adolescents "Platter Angels." Out of this local program and Margaret's dedication arose a service still utilized by Americans today. From her efforts of recruiting staff and obtaining grants to sustain the program in Philadelphia grew an organization that spans at least three countries and brings food directly to the front door of the homes of those who need it most.
Did you know that another one of your sisters is the current President of the American Girl Dolls Company?
Ellen Brothers, initiated into the Sigma chapter in 1976, graduated in search of her professional niche, and quickly found it in corporation marketing and management. Having found her passion, she did exactly what she still advises young women to do today: "Find something you love to do. Jump in with both feet." Beginning with her first job at Pepperidge Farm Mail Order Company, she worked her way up through the company to the position of President and General Manager. She then moved into marketing for publishers of children's books where she met the founder of American Girl dolls and was soon offered a position. Ellen has worked there ever since, having served as President of the American Girl Dolls Company and Executive Vice President of Mattel since 2000. As American Girl dolls continue to grow in popularity all over the country, Ellen continues to inspire young girls to believe in themselves and one another in new and creative ways every day.
When thinking about Women's History Month and the incredible women who have paved the way for women everywhere, we often drift far back into history. We think of Helen Keller, Harriet Tubman, and Amelia Earhart; women who have sacrificed for us, fought alongside us and inspired us every day to do what others say we can't. And while these women surely deserve our admiration and gratitude this March (and all year long!) we often forget about heroines from our recent history— those like Margaret Toy and Ellen Brothers. These women too are trailblazing, inspirational and sacrificing. They too have fought for and created women's history, and so, here at Alpha Gamma Delta, we honor them and their incredible contributions. Because if these women have taught us nothing else, they have demonstrated that right now, today, YOU are capable of making history. This March, be sure to celebrate these women and those who have inspired you to impact the world. And don't forget to celebrate yourself and your sisters, because someday you'll be the women we write about during Women's History Month!