South Plantation Sets Example on How to be Community Oriented
Juan Santana | South Plantation DECA
Each point of the DECA diamond represents on of DECA’s four guiding principles – community oriented, professionally responsible, experienced leader, and academically prepared – traits that all strong leaders need.
This year has really taught our members the true meaning of being community oriented. We have been able to fully immerse ourselves into the community and the result was something we wanted to share.
In the beginning of the year when Hurricane Irma hit, people all over the United States and around world knew of the impact and during this moment when everything was unclear, Irondequoit DECA (New York) showed its kind and sympathetic hearts.
They contacted our chapter through DECA Inc. wanting to assist our chapter in the wake of Hurricane Irma. After much communication, we assured them that we were alright and that it was the West Coast of Florida who took the brunt of the storm.
Two times every year Florida DECA raises money and donates goods to charities through a program called Helping Hands. As a joint effort with Irondequoit DECA, we donated to Daystar Life Center, based in St. Petersburg, Fla. Both South Plantation DECA and Irondequoit DECA showed care for those within and miles away our “community”.
Fast forward through winter break, when every year our chapter adopts “angels” or children who are less fortunate and provides them with Christmas presents. This is also known as the Salvation Army Angel Tree Project. We adopt one angel for every marketing class we have, meaning eight angels in total. The reason we do this is to provide these kids with gifts to create a joyous holiday experience. Each of the classes are always eager to help and this year in all we raised more than $800 in as little as three weeks towards holiday shopping for these angels.
The next time we interact with the community will be Florida DECA’s Spring Helping Hands drive.
It’s important to understand that we as a chapter don’t want to brag or boast about our successes, instead we’d like to encourage and push other chapters, big and small, to get more community oriented.
Whether it be partnering with a local charity, waiting for what our DECA association provides or just one drive a year, it can all make a large difference. To be community oriented means being part of a larger, more connected family.
This article was written by South Plantation DECA member, Juan Santana. You can follow South Plantation DECA on Twitter @SPHSDECA_.