If anyone knows how to participate in community service, it's DECA members! One of DECA's guiding principles is to create community-oriented leaders and our organization does just that—even in the middle of a pandemic.
COVID-19 has pushed DECA members to create new, socially-distanced ways to participate in community service projects and activities. Here are some ways you and your chapter can continue impacting your community.
1. Run a Local Business's or Not-for-Profit's Social Media
Do you know of a small business or organization that could benefit from a stronger social media presence? If the answer is "Yes," then this is the community service project for your chapter! As teens, most of us are on all major social media platforms and are familiar with the tools and trends of each. Using this knowledge to help boost a local business's social presence is a great way to participate in community service while staying socially distanced.
2. Host a Virtual Fundraiser
Fundraising for your favorite cause is one of the most common forms of community service. Collecting loose change from students during lunch at school, going door to door asking for a donation and hosting in-person benefit nights are tried and true fundraising tactics. Unfortunately, those methods may not work too well currently. Luckily, your chapter can still raise money for your favorite foundation in a virtual format!
There are many approaches to virtual fundraising. My favorite virtual fundraiser is a game I like to call "fundraising bingo." Fundraising bingo is a great way to get many of your chapter's members involved. Plus, it's easy! All you have to do is create a social media graphic that looks like a bingo card where each square is filled with a different donation amount. Have members share the graphic and let the game begin! To fill a bingo square, someone must donate the amount shown on the card. Try to get a five in a row, or go for a full card!
3. Determine Your Community's Needs
There's no better way to select a community service project than by doing a little research. Reach out to your local government, homeless shelter, food bank or schools to find out how you can best support them during these unique times. Perhaps your local elementary school needs students who are familiar with video conferencing platforms to aid parents and students. Or maybe they're looking for mentors or virtual classroom assistants to provide homework help. Everyone needs help in some way, so have your chapter reach out to see how you can make a difference!
Even with the craziness of 2020, we as emerging leaders can still find ways to support our communities while staying safe and healthy.