The P.E.O. Record September-October 2022 (public)

COVER | story

When she is at work, at the doctor’s office, at a volunteer event or traveling, Dorothy talks about P.E.O. She does not refer to it as “a women’s group,” she says “P.E.O.” such as “I have a P.E.O. meeting tonight” or “I think I will try that with my P.E.O. chapter.” If their interest is piqued, they’ll ask about P.E.O. And she is happy to share! Sometimes it takes more than one attempt. One sister shared with Dorothy that she visited Chapter IS and finally transferred “because you wouldn’t give up on me.” Have they all worked out? No. Over the years, Dorothy has presented at least two dozen names for membership. Four of those declined. Others initiated or transferred and later went inactive. She advises to not take this personally or give up when it doesn’t go as planned. Had she given up, many wonderful women would not be in our Sisterhood today. Dorothy continues to inspire a new generation to join P.E.O. Cheryl Mana'o shares “My daughter, Haleigh, was super young when I joined, but Dorothy was a huge part of her life. Haleigh looked up to Dorothy and always wanted to be part of P.E.O. because of her.” Haleigh was

circle’ is pretty much comprised of P.E.O.s and I honestly do not know what I would have

done if I did not have my P.E.O. sisters as my mom aged, became ill and entered chapter eternal. Also, I love the mixing of women of different ages and the immediate connection when you

first meet another P.E.O. And oh how I love the way the noise volume increases in the room when a group of P.E.O.s get together! I love (trying) to live the Objects and Aims

Dorothy leading a meeting of Chapter IS

and hearing that recited at International Convention gives me goose bumps.”

Dorothy continues, “On the more intellectual side, I see how our projects change lives. My three nieces all have ELF loans; I compare them to the loans my nephew now

“As far as what P.E.O. has brought to the lives of those I have invited,” says Dorothy, “I hope they have experiences similar to mine because P.E.O. is pure magic.”

initiated into Chapter IS when she turned 18 and she is one of seven daughters of members of Chapter IS who are also P.E.O.s. So, what is Dorothy’s “secret?” It turns out it is no secret at all. Talk about P.E.O. Wear P.E.O. Call the unaffiliate. Call the referral. Call the member moving into your area. Invite women you know to events. And, again talk, talk, talk about P.E.O. And, don’t give up. By talking about P.E.O., Dorothy says you may find a new sister, project recipient or both! P.E.O. Adds to Dorothy When asked why she is so passionate about P.E.O. and bringing others into the Sisterhood, Dorothy talks about the blessings it has brought into her life. She said, “The P.E.O. Sisterhood has brought a feeling of inclusion and belonging. When I joined P.E.O at 22 I was painfully shy, still hurting from being blackballed from a sorority in college. At the very first P.E.O. meeting I attended as a potential charter initiate, I could feel the warmth and love these women felt for each other, the joy at their being together, the acceptance of each other; I didn’t understand it, but I felt it. Over the years, P.E.O. has given me the opportunity to grow, and to not be so shy. It also gave me the gift of being able to be a leader in any role I wanted to try…I knew that I would not fail because my sisters had my that a chapter officer or accepting a role at the reciprocity or state level. My ‘inner

has, and it becomes crystal clear what a gift ELF and its 2% interest is to these young women just starting out in life. I love, love, LOVE how our projects change the lives of so many women.” “As far as what P.E.O. has brought to the lives of those I have invited,” says Dorothy, “I hope they have experiences similar to mine because P.E.O. is pure magic.” After 34 years of being a P.E.O. Dorothy has not slowed her efforts. In 2020, Dorothy’s sister, Alice Caravias and sister-in-law, Vita Caravias, were initiated into Chapter IS through affirmation. Alice is now a member of XX, Carlsbad, California, and Vita is planning to join a chapter in Michigan. The power is within each of us to grow P.E.O. Be inspired by Dorothy’s successes and take the opportunities in front of you to bring more wonderful women into your chapter and share the magic and many blessings that come with being a P.E.O. sister. • • • • • Nancy DiFancia is a 1998 initiate who learned about P.E.O. from Dorothy while they were volunteers with Big Sisters.


September–October 2022 | THE P.E.O. RECORD


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