DOVES OF PEACE HISTORY
In Spring of 2008, Upsilon Mu Zeta Chapter saw a need to establish a non-profit component. Six members came together to do the ground work. They were: Janice Brown, Gwendolyn F. Darensburg, Taifa S. Darensburg, Vanora Legaux, Dorothy Perrault and Belinda Rodgers. The members accomplished the job despite it being a very laborious activity. The application submitted for the 501(c)3, approval was granted, and thus the birth of “The Doves of Peace”. The Doves of Peace have donated to charities, purchased items to give to the less fortunate, received donations, and awarded book stipends. Since 2009, Upsilon Mu Zeta’s Doves of Peace have accepted applications from high school seniors for a college book stipend of $500.00. To date, the chapter has awarded 14 stipends based on grade point average, achievements, recommendations, school involvement, community service, a personal essay, and the submission of an essay titled by the Stipend Committee. On May 9, 2015, six recipients were introduced at a public reception at the Eastbank Regional Library, Destrehan, LA. Annually, members of the Doves of Peace and volunteers (approved by the committee), work at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in return for contributions and an elegant White Linen Party is held to generate funds. Occasionally, checks are received as donations.
Members of Upsilon Mu Zeta have a heart for community service and enjoy being in the communities giving of themselves as a way to implement the principals of Z-HOPE, (Zetas Helping Other People Excel). Throughout the River Parishes, members of Upsilon Mu Zeta are found implementing community service programs or supporting local agencies with community service events. Members volunteer annually at such events like the Senior Thanksgiving Dinner sponsored by the St. John the Baptist Sheriff Department, The St. John the Baptist Parish 40th Judicial District Children and Youth Services Planning Board. Additional services include: Prevention Committee Teen Town Hall Meeting, and Fishing Camp, Emily C. Watkins Elementary School mentoring program speaking about different professions, Trunk or Treat, and Bingo Game. Upsilon Mu Zeta Chapter is also very instrumental in volunteering in the Voter Registration Drive, the UNCF Walk/Run, and the Recognition of Veterans’ Day at the Veterans Hospital/Residential Facility. The chapter is also involved in the St. Charles Parish United Way Bridge Run/Walk; March of Dimes Spotlight on Success, March for Babies and Chef Signature Gala; and St. John Parish Council on Aging Senior Christmas Dinner. In honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his vision, members participate in the annual MLK March in St. John the Baptist Parish.
Members of the Chapter, as well as family members of chapter members, are cancer survivors or lost a family member to some form of cancer. On November 6, 2014, members volunteered for the first time at the Leukemia and Lymphoma Light the Night Walk in Metairie, LA.
For Finer Womanhood, the members wanted to provide a service to the community. In 2015, the members of Upsilon Mu Zeta can document their first Community Health Fair held on March 21, 2015, at New Wine Christian Fellowship in Laplace. Fifteen healthcare agencies participated and all received invaluable information, and over 80% received health screening.
Perhaps when you are visiting the New Orleans area, take a drive northwest through the River Parishes. We ask that you pass on Old Highway 51, off Interstate 10 and notice our Adopt-A-Highway sign. We proudly keep one-mile of Highway 51 area clean and have been noted in several publications by the parish president for our dedication.