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DECA makes blankets for hospital patients statewide

Members work in groups of two to four in order to equally contribute to the project at hand.

Members work in groups of two to four in order to equally contribute to the project at hand.

Ta'Leah Van Sistine and Lea Kopke

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In an effort to make blankets for hospital patients in Wisconsin, DECA members gathered to produce ___ blankets. What began as an inspirational, theoretical idea for DECA member Jonny Samp, finally resulted in a club project that is officially being pursued.

Samp confessed, “Last year I came up with the idea, but I didn’t really have that much support on board with it. All these blankets we bought were all in my room for about a year, and we raised $1,200 last year, but we couldn’t find any way of making them.”

Although he initially struggled to make the project a reality, Samp was able to promote and ask DECA members to stay after school and commit to making blankets for as long of a time they could contribute.

For Samp, the idea originally stemmed from his personal experiences in hospitals.

He stated, “I feel it is important because I spent quite a bit of time in the hospital, and I realize that the blankets are uncomfortable there, and that hospitals don’t have the budget to just spend money on blankets because they buy medical equipment. I thought we could help out in our own little way.”

According to DECA Maggie Murphy, member of the leadership team, DECA members also take part in several other community service projects throughout the year.

“We have the Bay Port vs Cancer football game where we raised almost $3,000 for childhood cancer research. Jake [Neerdaels], CJ Maternoski, and I started Bay View DECA last year, which is just like a DECA chapter of the middle school to prepare kids for DECA in high school. Another group is doing Money City, which is like a financial promotion project. We do a lot of things like this throughout the school year.”

While a majority of the club’s volunteer projects reach out to people within Wisconsin, they strive to have an impact nationwide.

“Most of the stuff we do is local, but then we also do MDA (Muscular Dystrophy Association), which is the national DECA community service project that we donate to, so we do a mix of [both local and out-of-state volunteer work].”

The project inspires those involved. Samp hopes to expand the project to a national or global level.

“Truly our goal is to get every patient a nice blanket,” Samp said. “We know that is going to be a far reach, but we are trying our best to just get it to that point.”

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