Contributed by Sydney Harp | Grand Canyon University, AZ
Collegiate DECA chapters have the potential to make a far-reaching impact on communities. They can reach students’ personal lives, enhance their professional development, improve well-being and enhance their involvement in their wider community.
The Collegiate DECA GCU chapter has historically participated in many charitable fundraisers and activities. We specifically target fundraisers and community service activities that support causes that personally affect our members and causes in which our members have a philanthropic interest.
Last year, we had such a fulfilling experience participating in the Walk to End Alzheimers that we wanted to continue participating in fundraisers involving physical activity. GCU DECA’s own fundraising and social events coordinator mentioned his prior involvement in the Walk to End Epilepsy Fundraiser, and the rest of our chapter became interested in supporting the cause and partaking in the walk itself.
We encouraged our officer team and general membership to donate any amount they could to the cause and form a team in honor of a GCU DECA member who disclosed that they were affected by epilepsy. We mentioned this philanthropic opportunity at one of our more recent meetings, and we posted this announcement in our GroupMe chat to keep a log of everyone’s miles and donations. We set a donation goal of $1000, and each person’s walking miles goal was 50 miles.
I started my part by contributing to the fundraiser and activity log at the start of the new year. I donated $50 to the goal and began logging the miles I walked daily on the Epilepsy Foundation’s website. I found this new habit in my routine of logging how many miles I walked for the day to be very rewarding because it was nice to see how my daily miles added to our team total. I do not doubt that we will achieve 260 miles because our DECA team is determined to meet this goal, and our members support each other.
GCU’s DECA chapter will continue to support the Epilepsy Foundation through its fundraiser and awareness campaign until the campaign concludes in March. Our ultimate goal is to contribute to the awareness campaign goal of 2.6 million miles for all donors and participants. We hope to be part of the change and a potential cure for the 1 in 26 people who have been diagnosed with epilepsy.