Taking Care of Business: Tualatin High’s Future Business Leaders Come Out of a Virtual Year With a Timeless Tradition

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For as long as the school can remember, Tualatin High’s Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) has been known for bringing home gold in business competitions. But this club specializes in more than just competitive events; each year, Tualatin FBLA takes time to give back to a community that has given them so much throughout the years.

The FBLA chapter dedicates several months each school year to community service, which include events for all FBLA members to contribute to, that focus on the needs of their local areas. This initiative was greatly impacted last year, however, by the closure of Tualatin High School due to COVID-19. Instead of getting out into the community and competing in in-person competitions, FBLA chapter members were forced to adapt to a new, virtual version of the national organization.

“Community Service initiatives are a pillar to our FBLA Chapter,” said Tualatin FBLA advisor James McCaffrey, “And like most things in this Covid world we find ourselves living, the past two years have greatly affected what our members could do and how they were kept from helping in our Tualatin Community.”

Although the year was tough, the club had no trouble bouncing back when schools reopened for the 2021-2022 school year. In November, Tualatin FBLA decided to revamp one of their most timeless community service projects: the Thanksgiving Food Baskets, which would give food to families in need just in time for the holiday. The items in these baskets are donated by Tualatin FBLA’s own members throughout the month of November, as the team works to create boxes with both traditional and non-traditional Thanksgiving food items. The non-traditional food basket option joined the traditional basket only four years ago, allowing the club to reach more families than ever before.

At the end of the collection period last November, members of the FBLA chapter pitched in to help sort food and pack baskets, a service that makes delivering the food to families in need possible. Along with plenty of non-perishables, each basket was topped off with a gift card to a local grocery store, allowing the recipients to pick out the items they need to complete their dinners. 

Mady McClung, Tualatin FBLA’s community service officer, led the charge in coordinating the event. “The food drive was a good way for students to be able to make a small impact on our community, which is especially important this year given the added stress that the pandemic has caused on our community,” says Mady McClung.

Moving into the new year, the club will now begin to focus on their regional competition: FBLA chapters in the area will compete in over 70 business-related events, from public speaking to tests in accounting and international business. By ranking high at regionals, members will be eligible to compete at the state, and possibly the national level, later in the year. These competitions, however, are only part of the FBLA experience; at the core of FBLA is the desire to give back to the countless communities that make the organization what it is. 

Tualatin FBLA members prepare Thanksgiving boxes for those in need.
Tualatin FBLA members prepare Thanksgiving boxes for those in need.

To find out more about the events Tualatin FBLA takes on during the year, please visit www.tuhsfbla.com.

For any other questions, please reach out to FBLA Advisor Jim McCaffrey at (503) 431-5744 or jmccaffrey@ttsd.k12.or.us.