Liberty seniors give back to community in incredible way

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DECA students

The Liberty DECA chapter participates in a “Community Giving” project every year where a select group of students raise awareness and donations for a specific organization. Seniors Arpita Patel, Nicole Tonetti, Maci Mitrey, and Matthew Wrather took charge of the project this year and decided to give back to the Huckleberry House. The Huckleberry House is an organization that provides a safe and supportive environment to young people who are dealing with a number of serious issues such as homelessness, abuse, violence, and addiction. 

The Huckleberry House operates on the basis that kids are able to stay as long as they need, all while faculty work to help them and their families get to a better place in life. However, the pandemic has proposed even more challenges to the people reaching out for help from the organization and for the organization itself.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened these issues for many, as well as left more people vulnerable to them. The pandemic also prohibited the Huckleberry House from reaching their annual fundraising goal, giving our group more motivation to help them through fundraising events,” said the group.

The group held 6 community events from November of 2020 to February of this year to raise funds and awareness for the Huckleberry House. One of the events the seniors participated in was OLHS Spirit Week. They also held two fundraisers at Chipotle and through Cinnabon and Auntie Anne’s Catalog’s. And there was even an event for blanket making!

With all of this hard work, the seniors raised over $6,000 for the Huckleberry House, ultimately exceeding their goal of $5,000. To put the amount of money donated into perspective, the $6,000 can be put toward one of the following:

-1507 daily bus passes 

-62 family counseling sessions

-31 days worth of nutritious meals

-12 weeks of parenting skills mentorship

-6 homeless youth set up in apartments

Donations were more than just monetary, the group was able to contribute goods as well, which were:

-440 food items

-28 toiletries

-16 household items

-20+ blankets

The seniors spread awareness of the Huckleberry House to over 15,000 people in the Powell community and their efforts shouldn’t go unnoticed. As the group goes on to present their project for the Ohio Career Development Conference, they feel honored to have given back to such a great cause. 

“Seeing our monetary donations and supplies translated to a physical impact in the Huckleberry House made the whole project worth so much more. In addition, it has been exciting to see how many people are becoming aware of the needs of the Huckleberry House and continuing to support the organization because of our events and social media marketing. Working with the Huckleberry House has been an amazing, humbling opportunity that none of us will forget!”