Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Season of Giving

As I left the Indiana FFA Leadership for the last time for 2013, Ethan, Shelby, and I made our way south through the rainiest rainy weather we had ever seen to help the Crothersville FFA Chapter with their 25th Annual Toy & Food Drive. Not having any idea of what to expect, I soon felt right at home when we arrived as everyone was gathered within Ms. Maxis's, Crothersville FFA Advisor's, classroom eating a home cooked breakfast before the festivities started. 

As I visited with many of the members that I had previously met earlier in the year and making new friends,  a group of the Crothersville FFA chapter officers led me to their gym to show me where all of the boxes they had prepared to deliver were. It was incredible… the gym was completely packed with food and toys for 93 families within their community. They raised over $10,000 to buy all of items to make 93 bundles which were prepared for peewee, small, medium, and large families. Madison Isenhower, Crothersville FFA Chapter Secretary, said "we will get emails, letters, phone calls, and sometimes some people will even come to the school" to figure out which families are most in need within the Crothersville community.

Pictured below is what a large family in need would receive. 

They also passed out fruit baskets to over 165 families who have lost a loved one. Crothersville FFA purchased all of their fruit for the baskets from the Brownstown FFA Chapter. 

FFA members had been hard at work since the last drive ended, raising money from various events such as their annual craft show. FFA members spend hours sorting the food and toys into categories according to the different sizes of families, preparing fruit baskets, and making delivery plans prior to the delivery day. 

Delivering the items was the easy part and it was great to see the community come together to truly help those in need. The volunteer firefighters of Crothersville participate in helping deliver to the families and because of the rain, we were not able to ride on top of the big firetrucks, so instead we rode in trucks and various SUVs packed full of items or FFA members. The Jackson-Jennings Co-op even allowed the chapter to borrow a stock trailer. Pictured below is the local Sheriff's SUV full of items for a family as well as the stock trailer with items for about 6 families. 

Helping deliver food and toys to various families within Crothersville was one of the most humbling experiences I have had serving as an Indiana FFA State Officer. I asked Madison why she loved this event so much and she responded with, "it's all the happy faces and everyone being so thankful for everything they get! All the chapter members that show up to help is such a great way to show leadership and getting to experience all the weather situations…". 

The families receiving items from the toy & food drive were surprised, happy, and thankful. I am blessed to have spent the day with the Crothersville FFA chapter truly putting the last line of the FFA motto, living to serve, to action within their community. Everyone deserves to have a Merry Christmas and for 25 years the Crothersville FFA Chapter has made sure of that. 

"Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." - 2 Corinthians 9:7

Merry Christmas Indiana FFA members, thank you for blessing my teammates and I with a great first half of the year! 

Full of good cheer,

Allie Abney
Indiana FFA State President

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