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On the Road Back to Confidence: How KD Helped a Sister in Need

We spend a lot of time talking about how Kappa Deltas are confident women. We say that confident women are ambitious; they speak their minds, they take action. They prioritize education, they give back to their communities, they inspire others. And all of that is true, but let’s be honest, sometimes we fall down. Because the truth is, although Kappa Deltas are confident women, we’re also real women. And real women have moments of insecurity and hopelessness, of anger, fear and dejection, just like everyone else. Sometimes things go wrong—you find out you didn’t land your dream job, you weren’t accepted into graduate school, you realize you unintentionally hurt a friend—and we’re brought to the very honest realization that confidence isn’t a steady state. Luckily, we have sisters to remind us of our resilience.

On Sept. 26, 2020, Brianna Costello (Eta Zeta-North Florida) wrote the following on the KD Connection Facebook page. “This is a lot for me to post, but I need to swallow my pride and ask for help. In July 2019, I packed up everything I owned and moved across the country to be with the man I loved. [We’re] three years into the relationship, and this morning he told me he doesn’t see a future with me. I am now having to pack up and move back across the country. It’s going to cost all that I have left to rent a U-Haul and drive from Colorado back to Jacksonville, FL. If anyone in the Jacksonville area has any bedroom furniture or bathroom things (even toilet paper would be so appreciated) that they could donate, I would be forever grateful.”

When she was in graduate school in Florida studying to become a hospice social worker, Brianna continued to volunteer with the Eta Zeta chapter. “Unfortunately, my program was in its infancy and it wasn’t accredited yet. So, when I moved out to Denver, I wasn’t able to work in my field,” she says. “I was nannying and wasn’t really making any money. It was going to basically drain my savings account to get me from Denver back to Jacksonville, to rent a little trailer to put all my boxes in and get my dog back there, get gas and food. My biggest worry was, I’m going to spend all my money getting back home, but then I’m homeless. I have nowhere to go. I don’t have a bed to sleep on.”

She continues, “I was in Denver alone, and I had nobody, no friends, no nothing. So, that Saturday I [was] bawling in my bed, and my first thought is, ‘Let me reach out to my sisters and see if someone can help me.’” The KD Connection Facebook page serves as an unofficial forum for members to ask for advice, post questions and share stories. Brianna had never posted in the group until the morning she realized she needed to make her cross-country move.

What happened next left Brianna speechless. The Kappa Delta sisterhood came through in a big way. “I started getting comments from girls from everywhere, alumnae of all ages. My Venmo reached a couple hundred dollars and I was shocked. I just cried,” she says. “I was so floored that these people cared enough about me, someone they hadn’t even met, to offer support and help.” Comments poured in by the hundreds: messages of support, offers of supplies and places to stay, virtual hugs and donations.

Within the first few hours after posting, Brianna was enveloped in love by collegians and alumnae from all over the country. “Girls were commenting, ‘If you’re going through my state, you have a bed to stay here.’ ‘If you need dinner one night, stop at my house and I’ll make you food,’” she remembers. “Those kind words [gave me the strength] to get out of bed that day and go to Home Depot to buy some boxes and start packing.”

With a weight lifted from her shoulders, Brianna made the trip to Florida, dog in tow. Once back in Jacksonville, her KD little sister gave her a place to stay, and her big helped her assemble the furniture in her new space. “I think [the members of the KD Connection page] single-handedly purchased my entire bedroom set and mattress for me. They literally got me a bed to sleep on,” she says. “I felt like I could start healing. It was the most amazing thing I think I have ever experienced.”

A few days later, settled in her new place, Brianna took to the KD Connection Facebook page once again, this time to express her gratitude. “It is so hard starting over in another state,” she wrote. “But the love you have shown me helps me know I’m not alone.”

We’ve never shared a member’s story like this one, but that’s why we felt it was important. Brianna’s story shows us all that being a sister goes beyond celebrating one another’s successes. It’s helping a sister when her confidence has wavered. It’s reminding her that she always has Kappa Delta in her back pocket to lend support. “I think my answer would have definitely been different before this, but now, to me, KD means unconditional love,” Brianna says. “After experiencing this love and support during one of the hardest times of my entire life, [I know it’s true] now what you always hear as a collegian: Kappa Delta is not for four years, it’s for life. I cannot express the love and gratitude that I have for these women and this organization.”

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