The Arrow Winter 2014 : Page 38

Volunteers ‘Would you Like to Volunteer at our Shop, Sign of the Arrow?’ By: MARY ROGERS GORDON , Missouri Alpha I remember where I was when I was asked this question: I was sitting in my first apartment with bar review books piled around me. I was new to St. Louis and busy with my first job at a law firm. Little did I know when I said, “Sure, that sounds fun,” that Sign of the Arrow, and the St. Louis Alumnae Club, would become a central part of my life for the next 25 years and provide me with lasting and deep friendships. Almost 50 years ago, St. Louis Pi Phis organized a not-for-profit needlepoint and gift shop and named it Sign of the Arrow. All proceeds benefit charities and, to date, the shop has donated more than $3.5 million to nearly 180 local organizations. I started volunteering at Sign of the Arrow to meet people. As a St. Louis transplant, I was very aware that outside of a few family and college friends, and coworkers, I did not know many people. Sign of the Arrow and the St. Louis Alumnae Club offered me the opportunity to make friends with whom I shared a common bond. Shortly after I began volunteering, I served on the Sign of the Arrow’s Philanthropy Committee, which awards grants to St. Louis area charitable organizations and Pi Beta Phi philanthropies. It was on that committee where I saw firsthand how my efforts as a volunteer impacted my new community. Through my time at Sign of the Arrow — writing up needlepoint finishing orders, finding the “perfect” hostess gift, restocking the shelves and answering the phone — I was supporting programs that helped people in need. It made the connection between what I was doing and the needs of the St. Louis community very real. From that point on, friendship and service were inextricably intertwined for me. I continue to work at Sign of the Arrow because my friends are there, and because I am a small part of making St. Louis a better place and Pi Phi a stronger Fraternity. I serve in the St. Louis Alumnae Club because it gave me a place to belong, and I want to offer that same thing to other Pi Phis. Each year, I attend our Philanthropy Brunch, where we present our grants to various organizations. And each year, I am moved by the stories of the lives that are touched through our support, and my energy and enthusiasm are renewed. 38 THE ARROW | WINTER 2014 Friendship and service are inextricably intertwined for Missouri Alpha MARY ROGERS GORDON (center). For 25 years she has served alongside Pi Phi sisters, including Illinois Zeta MARY MITCH MULLENDORE (left) and Ohio Eta HOLLY WILLIAMS THOMAS (right). Having been part of Sign of the Arrow and the St. Louis Alumnae Club for 25 years, I have seen how much effort and dedication is necessary to keep both entities strong. I am a Pi Phi legacy — my grandmother and aunts were Pi Phis — and I had their example of loyalty and commitment before me, inspiring me to serve. I have joked with my family, “I have a very hard time saying no when Pi Phi asks.” I have taken positions and jobs for which I felt woefully inadequate to do, and I have been mentored and helped in every instance. I have learned to both give and receive graciously and gratefully, and I have felt and experienced the love and support of other Pi Phis through life’s joys and storms. The truth of our sisterhood — that we are there for each other and never alone — has been proved again and again in my life. I cannot imagine richer and more rewarding experiences and friendships than those Pi Phi and Sign of the Arrow have given me.

Volunteers

Mary Rogers Gordon

‘Would you Like to Volunteer at our Shop, Sign of the Arrow?’

By: MARY ROGERS GORDON, Missouri Alpha

I remember where I was when I was asked this question: I was sitting in my first apartment with bar review books piled around me. I was new to St. Louis and busy with my first job at a law firm. Little did I know when I said, “Sure, that sounds fun,” that Sign of the Arrow, and the St. Louis Alumnae Club, would become a central part of my life for the next 25 years and provide me with lasting and deep friendships.

Almost 50 years ago, St. Louis Pi Phis organized a not-for-profit needlepoint and gift shop and named it Sign of the Arrow. All proceeds benefit charities and, to date, the shop has donated more than $3.5 million to nearly 180 local organizations. I started volunteering at Sign of the Arrow to meet people. As a St. Louis transplant, I was very aware that outside of a few family and college friends, and coworkers, I did not know many people. Sign of the Arrow and the St. Louis Alumnae Club offered me the opportunity to make friends with whom I shared a common bond.

Shortly after I began volunteering, I served on the Sign of the Arrow’s Philanthropy Committee, which awards grants to St. Louis area charitable organizations and Pi Beta Phi philanthropies. It was on that committee where I saw firsthand how my efforts as a volunteer impacted my new community. Through my time at Sign of the Arrow — writing up needlepoint finishing orders, finding the “perfect” hostess gift, restocking the shelves and answering the phone — I was supporting programs that helped people in need. It made the connection between what I was doing and the needs of the St. Louis community very real.

From that point on, friendship and service were inextricably intertwined for me. I continue to work at Sign of the Arrow because my friends are there, and because I am a small part of making St. Louis a better place and Pi Phi a stronger Fraternity. I serve in the St. Louis Alumnae Club because it gave me a place to belong, and I want to offer that same thing to other Pi Phis. Each year, I attend our Philanthropy Brunch, where we present our grants to various organizations. And each year, I am moved by the stories of the lives that are touched through our support, and my energy and enthusiasm are renewed.

Having been part of Sign of the Arrow and the St. Louis Alumnae Club for 25 years, I have seen how much effort and dedication is necessary to keep both entities strong. I am a Pi Phi legacy — my grandmother and aunts were Pi Phis — and I had their example of loyalty and commitment before me, inspiring me to serve.

I have joked with my family, “I have a very hard time saying no when Pi Phi asks.” I have taken positions and jobs for which I felt woefully inadequate to do, and I have been mentored and helped in every instance. I have learned to both give and receive graciously and gratefully, and I have felt and experienced the love and support of other Pi Phis through life’s joys and storms. The truth of our sisterhood — that we are there for each other and never alone — has been proved again and again in my life. I cannot imagine richer and more rewarding experiences and friendships than those Pi Phi and Sign of the Arrow have given me.

Read the full article at http://digital.watkinsprinting.com/article/Volunteers/1597321/190179/article.html.

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