More than 300 Indiana FFA members spent an afternoon working for others less fortunate than themselves during a day of community service on opening day of the Indiana FFA Convention. Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch, Indiana’s Secretary of Agriculture, stopped by one of the volunteer worksites to lend her support, both morally and with her hands.
Crouch visited students who were assembling tie blankets. The blankets which the students assembled were donated to Lafayette (Ind.) Transitional Housing.
“This is a great activity, and the future of agriculture is in this room,” Crouch told students gathered on the Purdue campus to tie blankets. She spent nearly an hour there, and she even helped cut segments of fabric so that two large pieces of fabric could be tied together into a blanket.
Emily Kilmer, 2017-18 Indiana State FFA secretary, and Natalie Taylor, state reporter, helped organize the blanket-tying activity. Volunteers like Karen Heavin, a parent and volunteer for South Putnam (Ind.) FFA, also helped show students how to make the blankets.
While students were making blankets for a homeless shelter, two other groups of FFA members were doing volunteer work at other locations. One group worked at two Payless stores, building “canstruction” displays that spell out positive messages about agriculture for consumers to see. Kroger supermarkets donated money to buy the canned food, and other sponsors also contributed. After a display period, the sculptures will be disassembled and donated to a local food pantry.
A third group of students worked at a food pantry during the volunteer afternoon. They helped organize supplies and food, lending a hand to volunteers who typically work at the pantry.
City Barbecue was the primary sponsor for the tie blanket project. Other sponsors helped as well. FFA spokespersons note that they hope to continue the day of service as an annual activity.