Not every angel is wearing white this holiday season. Sometimes, as in the case of the Mesmerizing Angels, they’re decked in pink and green. These official colors represent Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA) and the Fall 2005 Mesmerizing Ladies of the Iota Phi Chapter.
On the Mesmerizing Ladies’ 10th anniversary in 2015, the chapter started a give-back initiative called the Mesmerizing Angels. For five years, the members have started a tradition of supporting a local family in need during the holidays.
Through United Way of Central Alabama (UWCA), AKA members connect with a family and choose items to shop for based on a list provided. While UWCA connects the Mesmerizing Angels with a family each year, the women-led organization often ends up shopping for a mother. This year, the Mesmerizing Angels gifted a UWCA Priority Veteran client and single mother with a Christmas surprise.
“I have a special call[ing] for single moms,” said Mesmerizing Angel Member Monica Bowie. “I was raised by a single mom, and so we’re usually giving to someone that’s a single mom, or mom that has kids and needs a little help.”
While we all feel called to give back to our individual communities, for the Mesmerizing Angels, it’s slightly flipped. Members from all different communities give back to Central Alabama. The 26 Mesmerizing Ladies are spread out across the country in places such as D.C., Atlanta and California; but it doesn’t stop them from participating each year.
About a third of the members who still live in Birmingham work with UWCA to locate a family in need and collect money or gift cards from the other members. From planning down to delivery, the entire initiative ties back to AKA’s mission as a nationwide sorority.
“Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated is our global sorority, and some of our values as an organization are sisterhood and service to all mankind,” said Monica. “This is literally in our mission statement: service to all mankind.”
It’s safe to say the Mesmerizing Ladies embody this mission statement. Monica says it’s an amazing feeling to see the grateful reactions from families each season. Knowing they’re supporting somebody who may not have had any kind of Christmas without the Angels is a rewarding experience.
And that’s a big part of the reason the chapter chooses to partner with UWCA each year. Members know the nonprofit is a trusted organization with a deep understanding of who needs help in the community.