The Eastern Region of Phi Beta Sigma has at its core, the desire to serve and support worthy causes. One such cause is the March of Dimes. Started by U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938, the March of Dimes was originally called, the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Their original focus was on Polio which also affected President Roosevelt. Once the original mission of eliminating polio was accomplished, the group turned its sights towards the eradication of birth defects, arthritis and virus diseases. Later, in 2005 the mission of reducing the impact of premature birth was added.
The March for Babies (previously called WalkAmerica) is the largest fundraiser for the March of Dimes. It’s also the nation’s oldest charity walking event. At the international level, Phi Beta Sigma has adopted support for the March of Dimes and the March for Babies. Chapters across the mighty Eastern Region have contributed support in the form of time, walkers as well as financial resources. As a result; the Eastern Region has proudly raised over $28,000 as of June 2012. This is the most money raised by any other region of Phi Beta Sigma.
Our partnership with the March of Dimes encourages men of Sigma to raise awareness about health disparities that affect our communities. Specifically, the March for Babies demonstrates a need to focus on these core items:
- Activating their membership to raise awareness
- Inspiring others to get involved
- Implementing community programs for women and families
According to WebMD, the rate of preterm births has slowed slightly in the period between 2006 and 2009 but the United States still only gets a “C” on the March of Dimes most recent Premature Birth Rate Report Card.
The fact that 1 in 8 babies are born too soon is an alarming fact. We should do all that we can to help reverse this trend so that babies are carried to full term. Many of the contributing factors that are attributed to the climb in premature births are factors such as the growing problem of obesity, which increases the risk of gestational diabetes and high blood pressure; increasing numbers of uninsured women; and the rising rate of elective C-sections, some of which may be scheduled too early. (http://www.webmd.com/baby/news/20111031/preterm-birth-rates-heading-in-the-right-direction-barely)
Sigma’s enormous growth in support of the March of Dimes can be directly attributed to the Eastern Region which led our fraternity in raising money for the March for Babies. Our ‘leader board’ of contributions consists of:
|Delaware||Lambda Delta Sigma||$1,163|
|Maryland||Epsilon Nu Sigma||$1,033|
|New Jersey||Zeta Rho Sigma||$2,241|
|New York||Mu Delta Sigma||$3,300|
|Kappa Beta Sigma||$2,267|
|Virginia||Devon Henry Family Team||$3,355|
The following chapters are recognized for their long term participation with the March for Babies:
|Nu Sigma Sigma||MD||5 Years|
|Theta Tau Sigma||VA||5 Years|
|Epsilon Sigma||NY||5 Years|
|Mu Delta||NY||5 Years|
|Devon Henry Family||VA||6 Years|
|Beta Psi Sigma||NY||8 Years|