Delta Zeta members participate in philanthropy because it changes lives. The lives of Delta Zetas are changed through giving; which in turn changes the lives of humanitarians and the charitable organizations with whom we partner, and the lives of those who benefit from our mutual efforts.
In 1954, Delta Zeta’s Convention body voted to make the cause of speech and hearing our national philanthropy. As the only global women’s organization with a focus on hearing and speech, we use our philanthropy to protect hearing, raise awareness of Deaf culture and American Sign Language and provide the opportunity of speech therapy and hearing aids to people in search of those resources. And now, thanks to our partnerships with Starkey Hearing Foundation and American Society for Deaf Children we can see the difference we are making here in the United States and around the world.
In 2020, Delta Zeta hit the goal in raising $5,000,000 in five years for the Starkey Hearing Foundation. We are excited to continue our Heart for Hearing and Speech efforts, now supporting both Starkey Hearing Foundation and American Society for Deaf Children.
HEART FOR HEARING AND SPEECH Our members know how to care. We simply created a program to channel their compassion and direct their energies toward a shared ideal – make life better for others. Heart for Hearing and Speech is the theme for our personal philanthropy and chapter events designed to raise money and awareness in support of our philanthropy partners who are making a difference the world over.
Heart for Hearing and Speech Day coincides with the start of Better Hearing and Speech Month in May, which is a national effort to raise awareness about communications disorders and the need for improved global hearing health. We spend the first Tuesday in May telling our friends and family about the world’s most prevalent chronic health condition and asking for their support in addressing it.
GLOBAL AMBASSADOR SOCIETY
The purpose of the Global Ambassador Society will be to continue to engage those individuals who have supported our national philanthropy and service partners, Starkey, American Society for Deaf Children and the SeriousFun Children’s Network (this includes The Painted Turtle). Global Ambassadors will play a key role in engaging others in how they, too, can support our national partner. Giving back in inherent to these members and recognizing their commitment to philanthropy and service is important.
STARKEY HEARING FOUNDATION
In 2006, Delta Zeta’s National Convention voted to make Starkey Hearing Foundation a philanthropic partner. In 2015, Delta Zeta name Starkey Hearing Foundation as our National Philanthropy Partner. Since 2015, 51 Delta Zeta members have volunteered on international hearing mission trips in 11 countries with the Starkey Hearing Foundation.
Delta Zeta recently completed a five-year, $5 million Heart for Hearing and Speech goal. Because of our donation, the Starkey Hearing Foundation gave over 500,000 hearing aid fittings; created a global recipient base; built 70 programs around the globe; created an After Care program; trained and educated governments on hearing, hearing loss and hearing aids; initiated seven national hearing healthcare plans; and built the Starkey Hearing Institute in Lusaka, Zambia.
Starkey Hearing Institute trains hearing healthcare professionals through a nine-month program, using Starkey’s community-based hearing healthcare approach. The graduates leave with an international Hearing Instrument Specialist certificate allowing them to fit hearing aids anywhere in the world. The students not only focus on hearing, but also learn Starkey’s Phase 4 model introducing speech to their patients.
SERIOUSFUN CHILDREN'S NETWORK
Enriching the lives of children with serious medical conditions is a mission that Delta Zeta Sorority is committed to achieving. SeriousFun Children’s Network (SeriousFun) is Delta Zeta’s Global Service Project, coupled with the Sorority’s national commitment to support SeriousFun through donations.
SeriousFun serves as a support center to its 30 member camps and programs around the world to provide essential resources, funding, training and assistance to help strengthen and grow their global family of camps and programs. This includes The Painted Turtle. Through our partnership with SeriousFun, Delta Zetas have an opportunity to volunteer globally. They have access to SeriousFun’s nine camps in the United States (including The Painted Turtle) as well as their international camps around the globe. This includes two English-speaking camps in Ireland and the United Kingdom.
Through the volunteer experience at any of the SeriousFun camps, our members are not only helping the children they serve, but enriching their own lives as well. Our collegians and alumnae are honored to make a difference for these children. All of our donations benefit the children that participate in these life-changing experiences with SeriousFun and Delta Zetas.
AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR DEAF CHILDREN
To broaden our domestic impact through awareness and education and provide more ways for members to connect with our philanthropy, in 2020 Delta Zeta announced a partnership with the American Society for Deaf Children.
The American Society for Deaf Children (ASDC) has been serving families with deaf children for 53 years. Because more than 90 percent of Deaf children are born to hearing parents, ASDC has made it their mission to help those parents learn American Sign Language (ASL) so their whole family can communicate and connect with their Deaf child. Through this partnership, Delta Zeta members will have the opportunity to learn more about ASL, gain a greater understanding of Deaf culture, spread awareness and become informed and effective allies of the Deaf community.