The Tri Kappa sorority gives back to the community through fundraisers and their Twice as Nice store

Earrings, necklaces, and bracelets hang near the entrance of the Muncie YWCA's Twice as Nice resale shop Feb. 25. Gena Coers, a volunteer and Tri Kappa member, said that jewelry is one of their most popular items. Alex Bracken, DN
Earrings, necklaces, and bracelets hang near the entrance of the Muncie YWCA's Twice as Nice resale shop Feb. 25. Gena Coers, a volunteer and Tri Kappa member, said that jewelry is one of their most popular items. Alex Bracken, DN

Euchre nights, cemetery visits, ax throwing, aerial aerobics, glass blowing workshops and community volunteering. This is what it’s like to be a part of Tri Kappa Muncie. 

“It’s a place where you can socialize with people, but you also feel like you’re doing a service to the community,” Diane Frye, president of Tri Kappa Muncie, said.

According to Tri Kappa Muncie’s website, Tri Kappa is a philanthropic organization of women who come together in an unselfish relationship for charity, culture and education.

The first chapter of Tri Kappa, the Alpha chapter, started Feb. 22, 1901, in Bloomington, Indiana. The founders were seven women who attended the Girls Classic School, a secondary school that offered two years of college level education, according to Tri Kappa’s website. The first meeting happened in a founders room where officers were elected and wrote their constitution vowing their purpose to charity and kindness. 

While the first chapter was founded in 1901, Frye said via email, the Muncie Tri Kappa chapter, also known as the Delta Phi chapter, was founded Aug. 15, 1942, by the 1942-43 president Marianne Long.

Throughout the years, Tri Kappa has given back to the Muncie community by endowing grants and scholarships through the money raised from their fundraisers.  

Their most popular fundraiser is their “world-famous” Tri Kappa nuts, which are sold before the holidays. This is used to fund the scholarships they offer to three high school seniors in Delaware County. 

The group meets once a month to talk about community volunteering and to have fun nights together. The only times the group of 95 women don’t meet is during the summer months. 

The sorority puts together community events, fundraisers and has a store, Twice as Nice, which helps raise money to donate to the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) in Muncie. 

“[Tri Kappa] is a place where it means that there are still good people in this world that want to help others and put others before themselves,” Jan Richard, head of Twice as Nice at Tri Kappa, said.” It gives people a sense of pride in what we can do for our communities, and that’s what I enjoy about it.”

Twice As Nice is Tri Kappa’s resale store. Though it is inside of the YWCA in Muncie, for the most part, it is run by Tri Kappa. The chief executive officer of the YWCA, WaTasha Barnes Griffin, said the store opened in 2010 after the YWCA began getting more donations than they could handle. Tri Kappa and the YWCA decided to partner up for the store to raise money to give back to YWCA in other ways.

The store sells a large range of items from clothing to cards to jewelry to bread makers. The store’s items are priced cheaply, going from 25 cent mugs to clothing items only costing a few dollars. Tri Kappa decides the pricing of the items, and the women make sure to only sell quality products. 

Richard said the store makes her feel like she is “doing something that helps not only the women and children at the Y[WCA] but the people in the community because our prices are phenomenally cheap, especially compared to other thrift stores in the community. Our area is so much smaller, so we need to sell our things more cheaply in order to have turnover.” 

All items sold at Twice as Nice are donated, and the donations they don’t take are given to the Muncie Mission. The purpose of the store is to help people who can’t go to expensive stores, and the store has goods for all ages and sizes. 

The women and children living at the YWCA are given a voucher once a month that allows them to purchase a few items in the store, usually clothing, free of charge.  

“A lot [of women] like to shop there, and they like to have money to come in and spend. It gives them a sense of ownership and pride to be able to buy rather than be given it,” Richard said. “The people that work at the Y[WCA] will go into the store … and get this for people who desperately need things right now, not just when the store is open. I’ve even had a policeman come in once. He picked up a child with nothing but a T-shirt, so we brought him in and clothed him.”

Though the store is only open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Fridays and 10 a.m. to noon on Saturdays, Barnes Griffin said the store usually makes between $450-$500 a week. 

The YWCA takes donations every day, so women at Tri Kappa often work throughout the week to prepare for the days the store is open. Barnes Griffin said the women usually end up volunteering around 25 to 30 hours a week. The days the store is open, the women arrive an hour early to set up. 

Barnes Griffin said there is usually a line out the door at 10 a.m. on Fridays, and they often have to restock throughout the day. 

Over the 13 years Twice as Nice has existed, Richard said they’ve made around $150,000.  

“That is a lot considering how cheaply we sell things and how few hours we’re actually open,” she said.  

Along with the store, Tri Kappa has a biannual spring and fall rummage sale. They take over the community room at the YWCA, and Barnes Griffin said it’s a “big success.”  

The YWCA building in Muncie has been in the same spot since 1925, and though Barnes Griffin said it’s a beautiful building, the YWCA wants to raise money to increase the size or move locations. The Twice as Nice store would be a part of this.

She said she wants to increase the size of the resale shop, so it can hold more items and be open for longer hours. While the times may work for some, since it is only open six hours a week, the organizations want to enhance opportunities for customers. 

“It’s a hidden secret, but we want [the volunteers] to be well known, so we want to give to them and highlight them and the due diligence they deserve,” Barnes Griffin said. “The work of YWCA is to have that new location to provide adequate space to add more to their shelves.”

She said she really appreciates the volunteers from Tri Kappa, so the YWCA gives them a break and runs the store during the month of July. 

“I enjoy the conversations with them,” Barnes Griffin said. “I love laughing with them, talking about family, community, talking about ‘Oh my gosh, look at this beautiful Michael Kors bag.’ It’s the camaraderie. They’re respectful of us; we’re respectful of them. They’re a part of our family.” 

This communal feeling is an integral part of the Tri Kappa sorority. 

Sarah Demaree, a volunteer and Tri Kappa member, poses for a portrait in front of the clothing racks at Muncie YWCA's Twice as Nice resale shop. According to Tri Kappa's website, they commit 50 hours of service to the store each month. Alex Bracken, DN

Sarah Demaree, Tri Kappa member, said she didn’t know a lot of people when she moved to Muncie, but Tri Kappa helped her meet people of all ages and get to know her community. She said the members of Tri Kappa range from women aged 18 to in their 90s.

“It’s a wonderful resource. Say somebody needs a lawyer, and they don’t know anybody, well, there’s lawyers in our group,” Richard said. 

Frye said Tri Kappa helped her meet people she wouldn’t have known in her regular life, and the more time the women spend together, the more they go through with each other. 

The women make meals for one another and clean each other's houses. Demaree called it one big friend group, saying the sisters may have a fun night where they go out and wine and dine. 

Tri Kappa has helped these women build lifelong friendships. 

“Everybody's going to have a time in their life when they need something … You've always got a sister to call you; you've always got somebody to call. Somebody is going to have your back,” Demaree said. “And that's the selfish part of it, but nonetheless, you get to be that for somebody else too.”

Contact Mya Cataline with comments at or on Twitter @mcata_20. Contact Lila Fierek with comments at


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