Living to Serve isn’t just an unused, trite motto uttered as part of FFA marketing — it’s a living, breathing mentality that FFA chapters are quick to embody, especially as the holiday season rapidly approaches.
These community service endeavors not only benefit the recipients but also instill a sense of empathy and responsibility in the FFA members.
Here are some of the ways that chapters around the country are lending a helping hand to their communities and other members in need during the holiday season.
For seven years, Detroit FFA members in Detroit, Texas, have been hosting an annual Adopt-a-Senior community service project. Families sponsor a senior citizen, purchasing a large gift bag and filling it full of items similar to a list provided.
The FFA chapter delivers bags to the local nursing homes and to senior citizens in the community who are alone during the holidays.
Creating Trees of Hope
FFA chapters don’t necessarily need to take the lead on projects to make a difference in their communities. Sometimes, participating in existing efforts can help make all of the difference for those in need.
Trees of Hope line the hallways at the Centra Alan B. Pearson Regional Cancer Center. Auctioned off on December 14, proceeds from the Trees of Hope event benefit cancer patients by raising funds for the Cancer Care Fund.
Among the trees decorated, you’ll find one we’re partial to with cattle, goats, sheep, cotton, chickens, and more created by the Amherst Middle School FFA in Virginia.
Hanging holiday displays for all to enjoy
Love it or hate it, decorating for the holidays brings a real sense of festivity and a certain ambiance when the job is done. But when it comes to decorating a whole downtown area, it’s an all-hands-on-deck job.
The Coweta FFA Chapter’s officer team members stepped up to help decorate two parks in the Downtown Coweta Broadway District in Oklahoma.
Helping out the hungry and filling stockings
FFA members at Strasberg FFA in Virginia have participated in two community service activities within their communities. In the morning, members helped out at Compassion Cupboard, helping distribute food, restock shelves, and take care of customers.
In the evening, members met to shop for gifts for the Ruritan’s Empty Stocking Fund Project. Members received a Christmas wish list and budget for community members in need and shopped for clothes and toys, helping to fill stockings for ten children.
Tying blankets for nursing homes
There’s nothing better than a brand new blanket, except perhaps one that’s created by youth in the community.
Lorima FFA members in Wisconsin worked on community service to tie 12 blankets for nursing homes.
Cleaning up their community
Collecting trash is a simple way for FFA members who are living to serve. FFA members at the United South FFA chapter in Texas spent Saturday picking up trash from Lake Casa Blanca.
Cards for nursing homes
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a talented artist or not; cards created and written by hand hold a certain nostalgia. To make sure that seniors at their local nursing home felt a little bit of the love this holiday season, students at the Calhoun County Career and Technical Center in Massachusetts created handmade Christmas cards.
»Related: The meaning of Christmas on the farm