BY KAYLA GATES
There are many ways to help out in the community, whether it’s donating to the less fortunate or assisting the needy. DECA, however, is doing it all. With a week full of service projects, the organization hopes to make a difference in the world around them.
DECA offers business classes for students of all grade levels. However, the organization is much more than a class. The program encourages students to get involved beyond the school day. With after-school meetings, events and fundraisers, members have the opportunity to make a larger impact on their school.
“I think DECA is one of the most helpful organizations at this school,” freshman Yerin Kim said. “It is a great way to help those who are in need.”
The group was able to produce and bag 182 treats that were later delivered to the local shelter.
One of DECA’s most recent projects was an organized week of service projects. Officers came together and planned multiple activities that students could take part in, allowing them to give back to their community.
The week began with a service project on Tuesday, November 27. DECA members met in the cafeteria directly after school. There, they had the opportunity to participate in one of two activities: making sandwiches for the homeless or dog treats for the Humane Society.
DECA set out to help the less fortunate by producing sandwiches for those in need of food. Members of the organization donated the necessary items, including bread, peanut butter and jelly. Volunteers were divided into groups, in which they created and bagged sandwiches. By the end of the day, DECA had made a total of 449 sandwiches. The bags were dropped off at the local homeless shelter for residents to enjoy.
During the hours of volunteering, DECA also made dog treats for the Humane Society. Using donated oats, yams and peanut butter, the group followed a recipe to create homemade snacks for the dogs. The group was able to produce and bag 182 treats that were later delivered to the local shelter.
“Making sandwiches and dog treats was a great opportunity for DECA to make a positive impact on the community,” officer Taylor Ford said. “It showed many students that it doesn’t take much to do something for the greater good.”
The group talked to and played board games with the elderly, hoping to brighten their day.
The week continued with another service project on Thursday, November 29. Once again, DECA members gathered in the cafeteria directly after school, this time working to help children in need. Volunteers donated stuffed animals and children’s books, which were then packed into boxes. The group wrote letters to children in the hospital, which accompanied the packages that were later delivered.
DECA members looked beyond Cooper City High School for a service project on Friday, November 30. Volunteers met at The Sheridan at Cooper City, a local senior housing facility, where they spent time with residents. The group talked to and played board games with the elderly, hoping to brighten their day.
The week ended with a beach cleanup. DECA members traveled to Hollywood Beach on Saturday, December 1. The volunteers worked from 8 to 10 a.m., collecting trash left in the area. After two hours in the sun, the group hoped to have left the beach a little cleaner.
DECA sponsors Linda Snider and Lauren Mandel described the service projects as successful. With a large turnout at all the events, the club expressed its pride in its members. The sponsors and officers hope to continue making a difference throughout the remainder of the school year.
“As an adult, I really enjoyed the energy,” Snider said. “So many kids came out and I thought that they had a lot of fun giving back.”
With a week packed with service projects, DECA hopes to have helped improve the community. Whether it’s making sandwiches or cleaning up the beach, the organization continuously aims to make a difference.
Photo curtesy of CCHS DECA Twitter