Sometimes the most wonderful gifts come when you least expect them.
For most of us, the winter holiday season is perfect for relaxing and reconnecting, enjoying time with family and friends and taking a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives. But – full disclosure – have you ever sneaked back into the office while everyone else is away to covet the quiet of an empty building and get caught up on a few last-minute tasks? Don’t worry, your secret is safe with us. The Phi Mu Foundation staff does it, too.
Thankfully, that’s exactly what we were doing this time last year when the doorbell rang at Phi Mu National Headquarters and we received a game-changing delivery from the family of loyal donor and friend of Phi Mu Foundation, Dorothy Erbe Grahl, Iota Sigma (University of Southern California).
A lifelong Foundation supporter and member of the Fidelity Society, Dorothy passed away in 2013 at the age of 90. Dorothy had expressed that it was important to her to help secure Phi Mu’s future through her planned gift, and upon receiving that delivery from her family on that day, we knew her vision had become a reality. Honoring Dorothy’s wishes, The Grahl Family Trust made a bequest to Phi Mu Foundation for more than $350,000.
The timing of the Grahl Family Trust gift enabled the Foundation to go above and beyond its original grant commitments for 2019, allowing for additional investments to benefit Phi Mu members through academic scholarships, Fraternity leadership programs and emergency assistance grants. Because of Dorothy’s planned gift, women across the country are now carrying on her legacy and leaving their own mark on the world with her help.
“I remember being a collegiate member and thinking what a great concept ‘Sisters Helping Sisters’ was, never once thinking I’d ever apply to ask Phi Mu Foundation for assistance as an alumna member. That all changed when Camp Fire – a 153,000-acre wildfire that was the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in California’s history – destroyed my family’s home and everything inside. The grant I received from Phi Mu Foundation helped my family and me get back on our feet and take one step closer to rebuilding.”
Alisa Wrangham, Eta Sigma (University of California, Merced)
“I am a first-generation college student and it is not always easy for me to be financially prepared for college each semester. Thanks to Phi Mu Foundation, some of this burden has been lifted off my shoulders, so I can be more focused on studying and making academic plans. I am a double-major in neuroscience and cell and molecular biology, and hope to earn a master’s of public health degree before going on to medical school. One day, I want to open my own practice and offer free healthcare to medically under-served communities.”
Kasey-Lee Neal, Kappa Omicron (Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus)
We are incredibly thankful for Dorothy’s vision for the future. Her planned gift came at just the right time for women just like Alisa and Kasey-Lee to benefit from her generosity. Because of Dorothy’s gift and the ongoing support we receive from sisters, friends and family members who contribute to Phi Mu Foundation each year, our members are leading and learning with confidence and breaking through barriers with greater access to education, premier leadership development opportunities and assistance in their time of greatest need.
Answering the door and receiving that gift from the Grahl Family Trust that day created life-changing opportunities for Phi Mu members across the country, just as every gift that we receive positively impacts another woman’s Phi Mu experience. Help us continue to invest in members to reach their fullest potential by making a gift to Phi Mu Foundation at www.phimufoundation.org/give.