Delta Phi Epsilon sorority hosted their annual National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders week from Monday Feb. 20-Friday Feb. 24. The goal of this week was to raise awareness about eating disorders for one of their philanthropies—ANAD—through a variety of events.
ANAD is the oldest organization in the United States working toward fighting against eating disorders. DPhiE raises money for ANAD and for eating disorder awareness, as well as for spreading self-love through compliments and social media.
The sorority held a candlelight vigil to commemorate those who have suffered from anorexia nervosa and associated disorders. The sisters of DPhiE stood in a circle outside of the Integrated Science Center as the sun went down and listened to a speech from business administration major junior Corinna Capron.
ANAD’s mission is “to alleviate suffering and provide support for those afflicted from eating disorders.” They encourage everyone to love their bodies, no matter the size, shape, color or ability.
Another member of DPhiE, French major sophomore Rachel Nashold, also spoke on ANAD week.
“It’s a struggle, especially for a lot of college girls, to learn to love their bodies,” Nashold said.
The candlelight vigil ended with a moment of silence for those who have suffered from an eating disorder.
The following day, founder of the KMB for Answers Foundation Ellen Bennett held a presentation on eating disorders.
Ellen Bennett began by telling a personal story about her daughter’s lifelong struggle with anorexia. Starting in 1999, her then 11-year-old daughter began to lose weight quickly and to change her eating habits.
“I’m an educator—I knew something was wrong, even as the doctors continued to tell her nothing was wrong,” Ellen Bennett said. “Once they went to the doctors a second time, she was hospitalized for a month because her vitals were so critical—they were not good.”
While Kate Bennett recovered and led a normal life throughout high school, college and graduate school, Ellen Bennett saw once again that something was wrong. Kate Bennett went through a relapse so severe that she moved back home.
“There was no hospital on the east coast that would take her,” Ellen Bennett said. “[She was] hospitalized for two and a half weeks and discharged on her own recognizance, even though her brain chemistry had changed.”
Unfortunately, after fighting a long and hard battle against anorexia nervosa, Kate Bennett died ten years later. After the death of her daughter, Ellen Bennett started KMB for Answers, as it is an organization that serves to help people going through a variety of eating disorders.
Toward the end of the talk, Bennett finished with facts to start conversations on eating disorders and with a pep talk for the girls.
“Embrace your differences, embrace your beauty, embrace your kindness, embrace your heart. If somebody gives you shit, call them out!” Ellen Bennett said.
The next day, DPhiE hosted a table in MacVittie College Union where they sold chokers, bracelets, pins and tank tops to raise money for ANAD and a “Trash Your Insecurities” event.
“Trash Your Insecurities” was an event where participants wrote an insecurity on a little slip of paper and threw it into the trash as a symbol of leaving behind their insecurities. Additionally, they offered compliments such as, “You’re beautiful” and “Your smile lights up the room.”
“We have different hashtags, so today is #WellnessWednesday, which also provide ways to express self-care and self-love through social media,” special education major sophomore Samara Ralston said.
All of these events during ANAD week ultimately raise awareness about eating disorders and how to take care of oneself mentally, emotionally and physically.
“This week is about raising money for the foundation as well as bringing a positive spin to the cause through the free compliments we have been handing out in the Union,” Capron said. “We just want everyone to love themselves and their bodies.”