The Christmas season is upon us! Yes, it is the season of holiday traditions, bright lights and Christmas cheer, but it's also the giving season. A time for us to give back to others in our community. In the wise words of Buddy the elf “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” According to my sister, my “excellent” singing voice may not be the best at spreading holiday cheer. Luckily for me, there are countless other ways we can spread holiday cheer this December and bring happiness to others. As FFA members we have a duty to be leaders in our community and a key way to do that is by serving others. Let's look at some activities that chapters across the state are doing to uplift others.
The South Newton FFA chapter participates in the Toys for Tots challenge where they compete with other local chapters to donate the most new toys. These FFA members are spreading cheer and brightening the season for many children who will now have a toy or gift under the tree for Christmas.
The Northwestern FFA chapter makes tie blankets for children’s hospitals during the Christmas season. They also make Thanksgiving meal baskets for the homeless and those in need. This chapter brings a smile to both children and adults going through difficult times during the holiday season.
The Jay County FFA chapter adopts a family for Christmas and buys the family necessities and Christmas gifts. These FFA members know that an entire family will have a brighter holiday season due to their efforts.
The Sullivan FFA chapter hosts a community event called Christmas at the Barn for community children. The FFA members read Christmas stories to children, provide a hot chocolate station, host a petting zoo, and even invite Santa to visit with children. In addition, the chapter also plays board games with nursing home residents and has a canned food drive. The Sullivan FFA stays busy giving back to their community!
The Tri County FFA chapter holds blood drives, adopts a highway, and packs soap for those in need. The Tri County FFA chapter has found many ways to give back to their local community!
The North Decatur chapter is going Christmas Caroling to spread cheer at local nursing homes this year. They are excited to start this new tradition in their chapter.
Learning about all the great things FFA chapters are doing this holiday season has me motivated to spread some cheer myself! I plan to reach out to a different person each of the 12 Days of Christmas and tell them how much I appreciate them.
My challenge to each of you is to find one thing you can do to bring joy during this giving season. It can be an individual goal like pledging to say one nice thing to someone you do not know very well each day. Or it can be a chapter goal like your whole chapter volunteering at a nursing home. No matter the size of your action, seize the opportunity to spread cheer in your community this holiday season.
Blaine Wagner, Southern Region Vice President