Some 300 Indiana FFA members spent part of their time at the state FFA convention earlier this summer doing something to help others during a Day of Service. A big group of students gathered to make tie blankets for a shelter in Tippecanoe County. Others built sculptures out of cans at a local Payless Food store. The cans were later donated to food pantries. Still others worked at a food pantry.
The big activity held on the Purdue University campus was making tie blankets. Karen Nelson Heavin, a former FFA member and chaperone for the South Putnam FFA Chapter during the convention, showed students how to make the blankets.
The design is simple, Heavin says. Take two equal-size pieces of fabric, and cut strips all the way around the edge of each piece; the strips can then be tied together, forming a blanket that will provide warmth for those in need.
Dozens of blankets were created during the FFA work session. The only sewing done was to add patches to tell the people who received the blankets who made them. Making the actual blankets themselves didn’t involve sewing or stitching — just tying strips of fabric together.
Lt. Gov. and Indiana Secretary of Agriculture Suzanne Crouch stopped by and took time to assist several groups of students who were working on blankets. She also visited other locations where FFA members were working on Day of Service projects.
Breanna Holbert, National FFA president, also joined FFA members who were making blankets. She noted that it was fun to work with members, especially in a setting where they were all doing something worthwhile. Holbert hails from Lodi, Calif.
Several companies helped sponsor various Day of Service activities. FFA spokespeople say the Day of Service will likely become an annual feature at Indiana’s state FFA convention. It’s patterned after a Day of Service at the National FFA Convention, where FFA members volunteer for various service projects in and around Indianapolis.
Check out the slideshow to see photos from the day.