Tragedy Brings FFA Members Together
When I was about five-years-old, I had a dream that a fire tornado was approaching my house and was burning everything in its path. I can vaguely remember my little kid mind trying to think of what I need to grab. My favorite stuffed animal, my blanket, and of course, my dog - typical things a five-year-old wouldn’t want to lose. Over a decade later, I feel like this tornado is back and is determined to burn down all of Colorado.
On June 27th, a fire started roughly 30 miles from my house, in the small town of La Veta after a fire pit sent a man’s property into flames. As I am writing this, the pre-evacuation is only 1.5 miles away from my house. The La Veta fire, called the Spring Fire, quickly grew to the largest fire in Colorado, and almost the nation. The smoke fell over the mountain, just as a storm would. The sun disappeared, behind what looked like clouds throughout the whole sky. However, there wasn’t a cloud in site; it was all smoke. As the fire continued to grow, to the estimated 80,000 acres (as of July 3nd) my mind started to race again. What will I bring in case of evacuation?
I started to create a mental list of things that will find themselves in a box come tomorrow morning: FFA jacket, FFA letter, FFA star greenhand award, my brother’s quilt, the doll my mom made me, any cash I have laying around, and many other thing I couldn’t stand to lose. I began thinking about how I would get my horses out and the order I’d load animals: dogs and cat, horses, calf, chickens.
Then, my mind went on the evacuees. My friends, classmates, and fellow FFA members. My FFA chapter, Rye FFA, has attended many events with La Veta FFA and they are in our district. I saw that the Branson FFA Chapter had posted on Facebook. They were teaming up with Hoehne and Kim FFA to bring livestock feed for evacuated animals and snacks/water for the fire fighters.
I started thinking about how our FFA chapter should do something to help out the evacuees and texted my ag advisor. Sadly, he said he’ll be out of town for the next week and couldn’t help us plan anything. I felt that our newly elected officer team could handle something without the help of him. I texted my fellow nine officers and told them that we need to do something. We called the red cross and they said they had plenty of supplies. They had another task for us, however. They need us to build screens so that when people are allowed back to their homes, they can sift through the ashes for any belongings. It’s a sad job but it needs to be done. We also set up nine donation boxes around our community, so that the community could also help. It is a terrible thing but it is also amazing to see how local FFA chapters have come together to help out those who are struggling. This is a prime example of how FFA members will do whatever they can to help out those who need it. FFA is one big family and when I saw that some of my family was struggling, I knew I had to help. So, please, whether or not you are part of this family, send prayers to those friends and strangers, to stay safe. If you would like to donate or would like more information, visit http://lavetafire.org/. Thank you, in advance, for your support.