California FFA raises funds for members’ jackets

Tim Hearden

Capital Press

Published on November 14, 2016 12:08PM

Capital Press FileOrland, Calif., members wear their emblematic blue FFA jackets at a competition.

Capital Press FileOrland, Calif., members wear their emblematic blue FFA jackets at a competition.

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GALT, Calif. — The California FFA Foundation is raising money for blue corduroy jackets for students who can’t afford to purchase them.

This year’s fundraiser is Nov. 29, and the FFA foundation wants to raise at least $6,500 — enough to give a jacket with a tie or scarf to 100 students.

Katie Otto, the foundation’s development director, said many students have to borrow jackets from their chapter for competitions and events.

“A lot of them didn’t have the means to have their own jackets,” she said. “Definitely for me it illustrated the need (to help) all of our students who don’t have the opportunity to have a jacket with their name on it that fits comfortably.”

The push started during the run-up to the Sacramento area’s Big Day of Giving on May 4, during which local residents and businesses donated more than $22,000 to support FFA and agricultural education.

The foundation sent emails to members and supporters, and many of them told emotional stories about what their jackets meant to them, Otto said.

“It kind of becomes their identity,” she said, adding that some members still have their parents’ or grandparents’ jackets.

“After we did the Big Day of Giving, we talked about online giving,” Otto said. “I had heard of Giving Tuesday in the past but I didn’t know much about it. ... With Thanksgiving being an opportunity to be thankful and give back, it made sense.”

Giving Tuesday is a United Nations Foundation-sponsored movement to encourage philanthropy at the beginning of the holiday season.

Started in 2012, Giving Tuesday always falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

“At the minimum we’d love to give away 100 jackets,” Otto said. “It would be great if we could give one to a member of every chapter (in California). There are 328 chapters.”

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