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Estelle Trieu thanks members who 'worked tirelessly' to raise funds for North Clackamas Wichita Center

COURTESY PHOTO - Participating in a Unity Club planning meeting are Clackamas Middle College students, clockwise from top left, Paris Stoops, Estelle Trieu, Marisol Navarrete-Suarez and Alyssa Lightner.A group of high school students at Clackamas Middle College have created a grassroots organization called the Unity Club to unite isolated students, inspire philanthropy and aid families affected by COVID-19 through fundraising.

CMC junior Estelle Trieu started the Unity Club in 2020 and COURTESY PHOTO - Clackamas Middle College Unity Club founder Estelle Trieu serves as the club's strategy team officer.eventually was joined by three other team officers to help run the organization. A total of 10 club members so far have since raised more than $200 for the North Clackamas School District's Wichita Center to support Oregon families affected by the pandemic.

"Since our high school is a charter school with less than 300 students and limited resources, we were forced to operate the organization with zero budget," Trieu said. "In addition, none of us knew how to fundraise, design a website or market to sponsors. Even so, we persevered and worked tirelessly to find innovative ways to support our community."

Unity Club members have spent several hours each week creating marketing materials, cold-calling Clackamas County businesses and emailing dozens of organizations to help support the Wichita Center, which offers free food boxes, clothes and toiletries to North Clackamas families in need. Within six months, the club members successfully launched Clackamas Middle College's first virtual fundraiser, contacted dozens of sponsors, set up a virtual store, created student-designed merchandise and designed a website from scratch.

Currently, the Unity Club partners with several North Clackamas-area businesses, including the Old Spaghetti Factory, Panda Express, MOD Pizza, Panera Bread and Red Robin. Trieu credited "three other passionate, hardworking team officers who've been integral to the Unity Club's success."

CMC sophomore Alyssa Lightner leads the club's fundraising team to develop marketing strategies and work with sponsors/organizations for fundraising; junior Paris Stoops leads the design team to create logos, posters, event flyers and surveys for fundraising projects; and junior Marisol Navarrete-Suarez leads the recruitment team to attract new Unity Club members in collaboration with the design and fundraising/marketing teams.

"Our team and community recently fundraised with multiple partners," Trieu said. "However, since the majority of our sponsors are substantial businesses, it will take anywhere between four to six weeks before the donations are processed in our fundraising account. … Our fundraising projects are ongoing and continue to grow as we garner more support from sponsors and communities."

Since they created the Unity Club during the pandemic, its members haven't had the opportunity to work together in person as they had hoped.

For more information, visit stoopsp.wixsite.com/cmcunityclub, where you will find further details like a full list of sponsors, and an online store featuring Unity Club merchandise created by its members. 


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