After FFA alumna Margery Magill tragically passed away in August 2019 at the age of 27, her family created a campaign that has grown larger than they ever could have imagined – and it’s ensuring Margery’s memory lives on.
The campaign started with a Facebook post in which Margery’s sister, Raeann, requested donations be made to the National FFA Organization in lieu of flowers or other gifts. The idea was for the funds to be used to provide FFA jackets and ties or scarves to members lacking the means to purchase their own, much like the ongoing Give the Gift of Blue initiative.
“My family and I wanted there to be a legacy for Margery and to make sure she was remembered, and I thought of the blue jacket donations right away,” says Raeann, who followed in her sister’s footsteps as an active FFA member. “After I shared the cause with my Facebook friends, I was blown away by how quickly it was shared – more than 1,300 times total – and we saw an outpouring of donations from all over the nation.”
With the help of National FFA, the Magill family ensured the funds raised were used to purchase jackets for members of the California FFA Association, which Margery was part of as a member of the Marysville FFA in northern California.
To date, more than 60 FFA members across California have received the iconic blue jacket in Margery’s honor, and that number is still increasing as word continues to spread and more donations are made. Local events have helped raise money for the cause, too, including a youth polo tournament in Indio, Calif., called Polochella, that recently donated proceeds to Margery’s blue jacket fund.
“Margery was always very involved with FFA, and she was passionate about agricultural literacy and leadership,” says Bonnie Magill, Margery and Raeann’s mother and former advisor of the Marysville FFA Chapter. “She made tons of connections during her life, visiting 32 countries, and even in her passing, she is still making connections as young people receive the blue jacket in her honor. I think Margery would be happy to know that because of her, deserving kids are getting to feel the joy and pride of seeing their name on that iconic jacket – just like she did.”
It’s easy to see how impactful giving the gift of blue can be. Learn more about the Give the Gift of Blue initiative and nominate someone for an FFA official jacket.