Students in Irondequoit High School’s Business Education club DECA identified a DECA school near Miami, South Plantation High School, and reached out to see how they could help that one school/DECA program when they learned of Hurricane Irma hitting Florida.
Jerry Holt, the DECA adviser for South Plantation High School near Miami, responded back with gratitude for a DECA program willing to help them out.
“We are touched by your offer to help us out. When the students learned of your offer to help out, you should have seen the smiles. I have spoken to our Chapter President Tyler Benting; our Chapter Vice President David Newstat. Even though we were impacted by Hurricane Irma and out of school for seven days, we were very fortunate that we did not receive more damage that we did. We are bouncing back. After speaking to Tyler and David, we would like to take you up on your offer to help us out as we are also reaching out to help others,” wrote Holt.
“Two times a year we get involved in a Florida DECA project called ‘Helping Hands,’ which has as it goal to help various charities throughout the area and state. Just before Hurricane Irma hit, we were getting ready to start making collections. Irma knocked us off base, but not out of the game. We are back in the game,” wrote Holt.
“This fall, ‘Helping Hands’ project has selected Daystar Life Center in St. Petersburg, Florida, as the charity that we are going to be helping out. Daystar Life Center has been helping out those in need for the past 33 years. We will be taking all of our donations to St. Petersburg the first week in November to attend our annual Fall DECA Leadership conference and will present all items collected to Daystar Life Center. Our DECA Chapter could very much use your help with this project. We are collecting donations for Travel Size Health and Beauty items. If you can help us out with this, you and your students can collect the following items and have them shipped to us or you can make a monetary donation and we will do the shopping for you. Plus our students are even more motivated to make the joint-helping-hands project an even bigger success with your involvement,” wrote Holt.
During two weeks, the Irondequoit DECA Leadership team solicited the help of each homeroom at Irondequoit High School to donate health and beauty items. On Oct. 23, donations were collected and shipped to South Plantation High School. More than 86 pounds and four boxes of travel size health and beauty items were sent.
“Although only a tiny level of help of what is needed in the region, it is at least something the DECA students felt good about helping in some way. Like the theme of the campaign at South Plantation High School states — ‘one hand helping another hand help another hand’,”​ wrote Lou DiCesare, one of the advisers for the Irondequoit High School DECA program, when writing to South Plantation High School.
“This is amazing. Your school’s generous and kind donation will go a long way to helping families and individuals through a difficult time in their life. To date, we have collected almost 2,000 items, and with the inspiration and spirit of your chapter we are going to gather even more. The boat you see in the picture is a handmade canoe that was constructed many years ago by one of our DECA members and his dad. Each time our chapter is doing something good for the community and others the ‘DECA Boat of Hope’ comes down. Two schools separated by hundreds of miles coming together to support others is truly amazing. A very popular song from a few years back says it all ‘A Little Good News’,” wrote Holt, upon hearing the outcome of Irondequoit High School’s efforts.