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FFA gives back to military members

Emily Lytle * Delaware
elytle@doverpost.com
Dover Post

While spending two days in leadership workshops and competitions at Delaware State University, about 100 middle and high school FFA members stopped what they were doing to give back to the community.

For a day of service March 11, the students packed 1,000 bags for troops overseas. They set up an assembly line to include things like toothbrushes and toothpaste, playing cards and signed thank-you notes from Delaware FFA. The “blessing bags” will be distributed to the five Veteran Affairs locations in Delaware.

Joshua Housler, an alumni representative and former state officer, said the service day has been a part of the FFA State Convention for as long as he can remember. This year, they chose to give to military members since the convention was in Dover and many students have family in the military.

“One of our key focuses with this today is ‘living to serve.’ We’re not just serving FFA members of agriculturists around the world, we’re looking to serve people in our community,” Housler said.

Officers and members of Delaware’s Veterans of Foreign Wars were there to help. Housler said it was important to have that representation.

“My biggest thing is watching these kids enjoy what they’re doing and understand what they’re doing. It takes out the autonomous act of just putting things in a bag,” he said. “It takes it to that next level. We’re thinking about the service men and women, we’re talking to the people at the VFW; it’s this fun, yet productive interaction.”

The students took a bus down the road to the Delaware Agricultural Museum for the service day and some leadership workshops. While they were there, some helped the museum with a spring clean-up. They worked in a storage barn to help organize auction items donated by the community.