CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Feb. 11, 2005ᾰThe Beta Xi chapter of Sigma Sigma Sigma (Tri-Sigma) sorority at Southeast Missouri State University recently raised $500 to help Kristyn Capelli of Valley Park, Mo., an active member in the sorority and a senior at Southeast, find her biological parents.
Capelli was given a jar filled with 100 $5 bills at a candlelight ceremony before the close of the fall 2004 semester. The money was raised by selling items at chapter meetings or through personal donations from members.
“From the day I informed my sorority about how I was adopted, and my interest in searching for my biological family, they have been helpful and supportive. I knew from the start that Tri-Sigma would change my life, but I had no idea how much until that night,” Capelli said.
Receiving the money fulfilled her lifelong dream. Capelli said she was adopted when she was three months old. The adoption was handled by Catholic Charities, an adoption agency located in St. Louis. Capelli said her adoptive parents have always been open and supportive about her adoption, and understand how important it is for her to find her biological parents.
“My adoptive family is extremely supportive of me wanting to begin my search,” Capelli said. “They are very willing to help in any way they can, and they will be with me in every step of the process.”
The process of finding her birth parents is detailed, and the information released to her about her birth parents is very limited in scope. Only the basics are known, she said, such as height, weight, eye color and ethnic background. Capelli said she has no idea if she has brothers or sisters in her birth family.
With the money she received from her sorority, Capelli completed the first step of filing the necessary paperwork with the adoption agency. The next step will be to write a letter to the court to ask permission to open her adoption file. When that is granted, Capelli says she will be able to fully launch the search for her biological family.
“I am going to Catholic Charities for pre-counseling sessions with one of their post-adoption specialists,” she said. “They will counsel me through the process, open my file and release any information they have for me to begin my search.”
Raising money for this type of effort is a first for Tri-Sigma and demonstrates the charitable contributions Southeast organizations make to the lives of students.
“In Sigma Sigma Sigma we believe that to receive much you must give much,” said Christina Belmar, president of Tri-Sigma sorority. “Kristyn has given all that she can to Tri-Sigma and this was our way of giving back to her.”