Although many things have been put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, embodying the FFA Living to Serve mission is still very possible – and more important than ever.
“Our youth can play a big role in making things better right now, and those who are healthy and able to volunteer have plenty of opportunities to get involved,” says Stefonie Sebastian, senior service engagement specialist for the National FFA Organization. “No effort is too small; it all counts.”
Read on for a list of ways you can give back to your community, whether on your own or with your chapter, while continuing to practice social distancing protocols or sheltering in place.
1. Support Homebound Community Members
Consider delivering groceries, prepared meals or supplies to those who are at a higher risk of developing severe complications from contracting COVID-19, including those over the age of 65 and people with underlying medical conditions. Additionally, you can walk and feed their animals, pick up and deliver their mail, and complete outdoor tasks like yard work.
2. Educate the Younger Population
Since kids are home from school and likely completing their assignments online, it’s the perfect opportunity to host virtual tutoring sessions. You can also record yourself reading a children’s book. Share it with parents or post the recording to your social media channels.
3. Sew and Scribe to Show Your Appreciation
Those working in the health care, law enforcement and service industries need masks for protection. Consider sewing a few (or more!) and donating them to local agencies. If sewing isn’t for you, write thank-you cards for medical professionals, police officers and grocery store employees – or anyone whose work you appreciate.
4. Put Your Ag Skills Into Action
Now is the perfect time to plant a garden and donate your harvest to those in need, whether directly or through an organization in your community. Another idea: Create an outdoor scavenger hunt of native species in your area and post it to social media, giving kids and adults an incentive to get outside and learn more about plants.
5. Partner With Local Organizations
Feeling overwhelmed? Reach out to a group in your community – places of worship, food banks and nonprofit organizations, for example – and see if there’s an opportunity to contribute to one of its existing or future efforts.
That’s not all. You can find more ways to serve and participate in the Living to Serve Chapter Challenge, which is now also open to individuals. Log your service hours, share your stories and inspire others to take action.