In a Moment’s Notice, Everything Had Changed

For Karly Mizell, Alpha Epsilon, she had spent months dreaming about the exciting adventures she’d have during her first year after graduation from Florida State University. Ready to take on the real world, she landed a job with Young Life, a faith-based organization that she had been involved with for several years as a youth, and was thrilled for the opportunity to work and live at Young Life’s Frontier Ranch Camp in Buena Vista, Colorado.

Only after being in Colorado for a few short months, Karly lived through something she never expected – a fire that broke out in the Frontier Ranch Camp cabin that she shared with other Young Life employees. The fire started in the cabin’s chimney and Karly and her roommates had only minutes to grab what they could from their bedrooms and run out the front door. Everyone was able to escape without injury, but the personal belongings that they left behind were gone.

“Unfortunately, everything I owned inside the cabin was burned beyond recognition from the fire. All of my clothes, shoes, toiletries – everything was gone in just a moment’s notice, “said Karly. “All of a sudden, I was faced with having to find a place to stay and replacing everything I owned, while being thousands of miles from my family.”

Karly had heard of the Phi Mu Foundation Member Assistance Funds through her collegiate days and from her mother, Lori Desguin Mizell, Alpha Epsilon. Lori is a member of the Foundation’s Legacy League Giving Program and a longtime Phi Mu Fraternity volunteer and she knew that these funds existed for members who were facing difficult times.

“I had the opportunity to meet Leona Hughes Hughes, Delta, at Phi Mu National Convention, and I thought of her and the Heart and Hand Fund when we heard that it could be months before Young Life would be able to provide the employees any assistance,” said Lori. “To know that Karly would benefit from Leona’s generosity through the Foundation gave me and my family such peace during a really troubling time.”

Lori and Karly at Frontier Ranch Camp

The Leona Hughes Hughes Heart and Hand Fund is available for collegiate and alumnae members like Karly, who are facing emergency situations such as natural disasters, critical medical illnesses and other dire circumstances. The Foundation was able to send Karly a grant from the Leona Hughes Hughes Heart and Hand Fund to help her replace some of her belongings and work toward a fresh start following the fire.

“I will forever be thankful to Phi Mu Foundation and Leona Hughes Hughes for giving me the help I needed to rebuild some of my life after so much was lost in the fire,” said Karly. “Receiving this grant made me realize how impactful every single gift is to the Foundation and how amazing it is to know that sisters who don’t even know you are willing to give in your time of need.”

If you would like to make a gift to Phi Mu Foundation’s Member Assistance Funds to help women just like Karly, visit the Give Now page and select Leona Hughes Hughes Heart and Hand Fund or Betty Nell Wilkinson Emergency Fund from the drop-down menu.