Hundreds of blue-and-gold-clad members of Texas Future Farmers of America (FFA) visited Fort Worth this month, bringing with them a spirit of community service and much-needed supplies for needy residents in their host city.
Each year, Texas FFA conducts a service project in the city that hosts the organization’s statewide convention. This year, FFA students from across the state were asked to either volunteer to beautify a Fort Worth park or bring new household items to be distributed to people who are transitioning from homelessness.
Mayor Betsy Price accepted about 600 welcome-home baskets that were donated by FFA chapters. The baskets were full of plates, linens, cleaning supplies and other items. They benefited nine agencies: Presbyterian Night Shelter, Recovery Resource Council, The Salvation Army, SafeHaven of Tarrant County, Center for Transforming Lives, MHMR, Catholic Charities, Samaritan House and Community Enrichment Center.
Last fall, City of Fort Worth employees piloted the welcome-home basket project and paved the way for community participation. The program is part of an effort to direct donations more effectively in the homeless system.
To learn more about the program, contact Tara Perez at 817-392-2235.
A total of 724 FFA volunteers also completed a number of projects in Fort Worth parks and neighborhoods, logging a combined 2,172 hours of work.
These volunteers helped pick up litter, mow, clear brush and plant seedlings at Trinity Park, the Botanic Garden, the Fort Worth Nature Center and other local parks. Additionally, they helped revitalize the Ash Crescent area by collecting trash and other debris.
“It was an amazing experience,” said Texas FFA alumni chairwoman Liz Treptow of the two-day volunteer effort, noting that feedback from volunteers was extremely positive. “Everybody in Fort Worth was so welcoming and easy to work with.”