Contributed by Brendan Clementi | University of Wisconsina DECA, WI
As I entered my fourth and final year in Collegiate DECA, I took some time to reflect on my experiences through the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater chapter. From competitions to bonfire socials to bowling fundraisers for the ALS Association, I have had so many opportunities to develop my professional skills, network and help others.
As I looked forward to the coming year and all I wanted to accomplish I found myself excited for one event in particular; Trick-or-Can. I have participated in Trick-or-Can events since high school but the ability of such an event to make an impact in a community has always stood out. The Whitewater community is filled with college students and families that are in need of free food and activities like this allow us to help fill that need.
Our chapter recruited almost two dozen volunteers to drop off collection bags and subsequently collect donated items from across the city. Volunteers stepped up on a rainy Sunday afternoon to drop off bags requesting nonperishable food items for the Whitewater Community Space, a nonprofit community center that provides free clothing, furniture, books, food, and many other items to anyone in need. The Whitewater community responded by donating more than 550 food items to help their fellow residents. Members of our chapter collected, counted, bagged and delivered all donated items to the Community Space.
This event is always one of my favorite activities of the year. I’ve been able to serve as the president of our chapter this year and the opportunity to work with our Vice President of Community Involvement as they put this activity together is something I appreciate every year. It’s an honor to help make this event a reality and I love seeing the good we can do in our community through Collegiate DECA.