To share a Living to Serve plan story, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Selner – Denmark FFA, Wisconsin
Name of LTS Plan: Students Promoting Milk
Emily wanted to promote agriculture literacy to students in her school. She researched the benefits of drinking chocolate milk after strenuous workouts and began to plan how she could work with the school administration to provide chocolate milk to the athletes in her school. She sought donations from local businesses and health groups, and now the athletes pay just $10 per season for the refrigerated drink, which is located in all sports facilities and is available after each workout and game.
Emily’s program has been recognized by the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board, and in 2012 three other schools will start Students Promoting Milk.
Brigitte Hanks – North Harrison FFA, Indiana
Name of LTS Plan: Love is No Pain
While at WLC, Brigitte was struck by how many women and children are abused each year. So she decided to create awareness and educate others on the issue, whether it is dating abuse, child abuse, sexual abuse, or emotional abuse. Brigitte created a Facebook page and a Web site that provides an outlet for victims to share stories and find information for hotlines and other organizations committed to ending abuse. She also educates the general public through Facebook posts that provide statistics and videos.
Sierra Coulthard – Neillsville FFA, Wisconsin
Name of LTS Plan: Sierra’s Shoes
Sierra came home from WLC with a purpose. She felt challenged to make a difference, and Sierra took it to a global level. Working with the Soules4Souls program, Sierra has collected more than 915 pairs of gently worn shoes, all of them destined for Haiti, where many children and adults are shoeless.
But she isn’t stopping there. Sierra is now raising money for her own trip to Haiti, so that she will deliver the shoes personally. Sierra’s Living to Serve plan has also been recognized by Kids are Heroes.
Sarah Bruce – Tri County FFA, Indiana
Name of LTS Plan: Hunger Awareness
The WLC Poverty Dinner struck a chord with Sarah, who decided to create her LTS plan around hunger awareness. Sarah’s plan consisted of two components. First, she recreated the poverty dinner she experienced while at WLC and used this time to teach 50 student volunteers about the reach of hunger across the world and in her home community. The 50 high school and middle schools students then became leaders for part two of Sarah’s plan – a two-week long food drive. Sarah collected over 350 food items which were donated to local food banks.
Sarah will conduct food drives during the fall and spring semesters, and she is working to build up chapter leaders who will continue the event upon her graduation.
Jessen Miller – Knox County FFA, Missouri
LTS Plan Name: Bids for Hunger
Jessen used his youth minister and church youth group to advertise his LTS plan in local businesses and churches around his hometown. The fliers advertised a drop box where unwanted items could be donated to help fight hunger. Jessen has received gourmet cookers, video games, clothing, sports cards, hallmark ornaments, and other collector’s items. He then uploads photos and descriptions of the items to EBay where he sells the items and donates 100 percent of the profit to Convoy of Hope – a non-profit organization that fights world hunger.
Jessen plans to start Bids for Hunger on the opposite side of the state where he will attend college while his youth group continues project in his home town.
Nicole Wallace – Gibsonburg FFA Chapter, Ohio
LTS Plan Name: Kids of Hope
Nicole designed her program Kids of Hope to bring clothes to children in need and educate other students about the causes of poverty. Nicole’s home church had already established a partnership with Western Avenue Church located in inner city Toledo, Ohio. She decided contacting the church wasn’t enough; she wanted to see the need for herself. After visiting the church and listening to their needs, Nicole coordinated a clothing drive, collecting over 100 bags full of clothes and blankets.
Kallie Rank - Gillett FFA, Wisconsin
LTS Plan: The World Without Agriculture
While attending a conference months after WLC, Kallie was exposed to numerous negative messages about agriculture. Kallie states, “I’m the future of agriculture, and I need to do something about this.” She desired to tell the full, true story. Using the skills she developed at WLC, she put her new LTS plan into action! “My laptop is my life. I’m on it all the time, and I thought how can I use this as a positive resource,” says Kallie. She now uses social media and her blog “The World Without Agriculture” to have a voice. The blog had over 300 hits in the first three days, and this summer she will develop a marketing plan to reach beyond the agriculture and FFA circle.
Uintah FFA Chapter, Utah (submitted by Jadon Woods)
LTS Plan: Seed to Salad
One successful “Living to Serve” chapter is the Uintah FFA Chapter in Vernal, Utah. They received 6250.00 to fund their project “Seed to Salad” a community garden project for local families to grow vegetables for their own use. The project’s goal is to educate families to grow and utilize vegetables they produce to improve healthy eating. Uintah FFA members will assist families with the garden plots. All inputs needed to grow the vegetables are financed by the grant. The garden plots will be located at Uintah High School and maintained by the families selected to participate in this program.
Matt Olson – Southern Door FFA, Wisconsin
LTS Plan: Partner of God’s Global Barnyard
“WLC really opened my eyes to what I have,” says Matt, who attended WLC in 2010. Matt centered his plan on impacting hunger on both a global and local level; therefore, Matt’s plan consisted of two components. First, he began raising money for God’s Global Barnyard – an organization that donates livestock to impoverished communities around the world. Each Thanksgiving Matt speaks to churches in his local community about the issue of hunger and asks for support in his endeavor. He has raised over $6000 for the organization, which has allowed the organization to give over 100 animals. To impact hunger on a local level Matt has coordinated four food drives; each drive collected over 1000 items for a local food pantry. For his efforts, Matt has been named a Prudential Spirit of Community Award and has been honored as a “Home Town Hero” by the Wisconsin State Legislature.
Rachel Hedrick & Maddy Buschur – Versailles FFA, Ohio
LTS Plan: Partner of Heifer International
Rachel and Maddy joined forces while at WLC and created a plan to raise funds for the non-profit organization, Heifer International. They began with a “Read to Feed” program for elementary and middle school students, where Rachel and Maddy played a Heifer International video and taught the students about hunger and announced that the FFA chapter would give $0.25 for each book read. After one week of logging the number of books, the students had read over 1000 books! Younger elementary students were also encouraged to enter a coloring contest. The chapter donated another $0.25 for each entry. The winning pictures were published in the local newspaper, and poster sized replicas were hung around the community to create awareness. Rachel and Maddy didn’t stop there! To involve the high school students they created a “Heifer International Day” at their school where teachers dressed up as farm animals and students could buy t-shirts. In total, Rachel and Maddy have raised over $3000 for Heifer International.
Jeremy Minnier – Hampton-Dumont FFA, Iowa
LTS Plan: Mayor – Aredale, Iowa
Jeremy Minnier applied his WLC experience in a unique and personal way. When he left WLC he knew he wanted to continue serving those in his community. He began cleaning gutters, mowing lawns and volunteering in the community of Aredale, Iowa. This service led to something Jeremy would never have imagined; when the citizens of Aredale went to vote for their town mayor they wrote Jeremy’s name on the ballot. Not officially being a candidate for mayor and never running a campaign, Jeremy paused to think about the job of being mayor – if he wanted to do it and could he do it well.
“One of the things they taught at WLC was to serve your community and this is my way of doing that,” says Minnier. “This is my way to make a difference in my hometown.” The eighteen-year-old mayor, has been highlighted by MSNBC, CNN, NPR, AgriNews, and National China Southern Weekly. He will also appear on Jay Leno, Friday, April 27.