One hundred more FFA members will be wearing blue jackets thanks to the Indianapolis Local Organizing Committee (LOC), which raises local funds for the National FFA Convention and Expo each year.
The committee usually gives a small gift to each attendee of the National FFA Convention & Expo Kickoff Luncheon that takes place the day before the official start of convention. This year, however, the committee decided to donate blue jackets to the National FFA Organization’s Give the Gift of Blue program, which gifts jackets to FFA members who cannot afford them.
Committee member Leonard Hoops, also president and CEO of Visit Indy, said the LOC wanted to give something lasting and memorable.
“[Giving the jackets] just felt like it was going to have more of an impact,” he said. “It’s a much deeper impact for those hundred [people].”
The committee plans to continue this level of giving for the next decade, donating a total of 1,000 jackets to coincide with the 100th anniversary of the national convention. FFA is important to the local area, Hoops says, but that is not the only reason why the committee values FFA.
“FFA clearly has a benefit that goes well beyond the economic impact, which we love,” Hoops said. “We love the economic benefit, but we love the fact that we’re part of a bigger thing that’s really a global movement that has led out of Indianapolis with National FFA and FFA chapters all over the world.”
For more information about Give the Gift of Blue, go to FFA.org/giveblue.
Martha Hoffman is a junior journalism major at Northern Illinois University. She is a member of the Earlville FFA Chapter in Illinois and is serving as a reporter for the 91st National FFA Convention & Expo Newsroom Crew.