BY ISABELLE BRAUN
Trick or Treat so Other’s Can Eat (TOT) was first organized in 1986 by Hays High DECA, this year, the 33rd TOT event will be taking place on Oct. 8 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
This event collects food for the Community Assistance Center, which provides food assistance, cash assistance, clothing assistance for families that are not receiving aid from other entities, such as food stamps.
The goal for this year is 20,000 items, and in the past, they have hit the goal.
“TOT evolved from a Community Service Project started by Connie Haselhorst,” Shaina Prough said. “She started it her junior year of high school, did it for two years, and then DECA just kind of evolved and took over it when she graduated.”
Prough took over the project when she stepped in as DECA advisor 21 years ago.
“It takes a lot of prep work because I have to contact organizations usually in April,” Prough said. “A lot of my groups are repeat groups, so they’re very familiar with the process.”
There are 27 groups participating in the collection this year, varying from church groups, Boy Scouts, Hays High groups and various groups from the college campus. For each of these groups, Prough must map out their collection route and confirm how many participants they will have.
“As far as getting the word out, we have to plan how to get free advertising because we don’t have a budget for TOT,” Prough said.
Members of the Hays High DECA chapter participate in the organizational process by delivering flyers to businesses and organizations in the community, delivering packets of information to groups participating, and collecting and sorting food on the night of collection.
“A lot of people may not be home because I know there are a lot of activities,” Prough said. “If you’re not home, just put your stuff on your porch or take it to the community assistance center or contact the high school, 785-623-2600, or by email, email@example.com.”