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DECA Sponsors Ellie’s Hats

Donated hats are given to cancer-stricken children in order to make them feel less self-conscious.
Donated hats are given to cancer-stricken children in order to make them feel less self-conscious about their lack of hair.

Tamia Singleton browses the hat selection at The Childrens’ Place, searching for the perfect hat to give to a child fighting cancer to make them feel better. This month DECA is sponsoring Ellie’s Hats, a charity that donates hats to children battling cancer, as their community project.

Kimberly Beales, Sports Marketing and Fashion Marketing teacher at Prince George High School, is the sponsor of Distributive Education Clubs of America (DECA club).

“I was introduced to Ellie’s Hats, because it is the Virginia DECA State officer community project,” Beales said.

It all starts with Jay Coakley, a teacher at Woodburn Elementary School in Falls Church, VA. Ellie was a girl in Coakley’s Kindergarten class. She has been battling cancer since the age of four. Every day she came to school with a different hat on. People in her school gave her many hats, and Ellie wanted to know if other kids would like to have fun silly hats as well.

Every DECA organization in Virginia is participating with Ellie’s Hats. People can donate their hats in Beales’ classroom.

“When you donate your hats, you get your name on a sticker, and it is placed outside of B1. People can start donating brand new children’s hats at any time, but the first drive is on the 31st,” she said.

Senior Tye’shawn Harris is the Competitive Event Coordinator and Social Media Correspondent, and has been a part of DECA for four years.

“I am getting stuff prepared [for Ellie’s Hats], picking out the types of hats to tell people to buy, and getting the board together to put the names up to who bought a hat and gave back,” Harris said.

Harris is very confident about the success of the Ellie’s Hats drive.

“I think a lot of people will donate, because not a lot of people give back, but a lot of people give back when it deals with cancer. Young kids with cancer still do what they have to do, and people support it,” he said.          Harris is passionate about this charity and feels fortunate that he can always give back.

“I will totally do this again next year. I will personally come back to Prince George High School and give back,” Harris said.

Junior Tamia Singleton has been an active part of DECA for three years now.

“I think a lot of people will donate, because a lot of people like community service. We appreciate if people donate, because it is a great cause and it makes people feel better,” Singleton said.

Ellie’s Hats is important to Singleton, because it involves giving back to the less fortunate.

“I will do this again next year, because it is a good cause and it really makes people feel better,” Singleton said.

Senior Corrine Marshall has been in DECA for two years now, and  will also be participating in Ellie’s Hats.

“I’m in charge of it [the community service project], because  Mrs. Beales assigned it to me because I’m the Vice President of DECA,” Marshall said.

Marshall feels wonderful about Ellie’s Hats being DECA’s community service project.

“DECA is known for their community service. It is a really touchy subject, because everyone usually knows someone who has or had cancer,” she said.

People do not have to just donate a hat, there is another way to help out too.

“One person brings in one brand new hat with the tag on it, and then they give the hat to DECA. Then we give the hat to the kids at the cancer center. If they don’t have a hat to donate, then they can give us five dollars and we will get a hat for them,” Marshall said.

DECA appreciates all donations. For more information about Ellie and her many hats go to

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