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GALT, Calif. — Donors to the California FFA Foundation’s jacket fundraiser stepped up in a big way on Nov. 28, as they teamed with Blue Diamond Growers to raise enough money to purchase nearly 600 blue jackets for members who can’t afford their own.
At $75 for each jacket with a tie or scarf, that’s nearly $45,000.
The organization nearly met its goal of raising enough for 668 jackets, or two for each of California’s 334 FFA chapters, the foundation explained on its website.
That’s a big jump from the $6,500 goal the California FFA set and reached on Giving Tuesday in 2016. A big reason for the increase was Blue Diamond Growers, which matched individuals’ donations.
The push started last year as FFA advisers realized some members didn’t have the means to purchase their own trusty blue-and-gold jackets and had to borrow them for competitions and other events.
The FFA held its first jacket fundraiser in conjunction with the Sacramento area’s Big Day of Giving in May 2016, during which local residents and businesses donated more than $22,000 to support FFA and agricultural education.
Giving Tuesday is a United Nations Foundation-sponsored movement to encourage philanthropy at the beginning of the holiday season. Started in 2012, Giving Tuesday always falls on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, on the heels of Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
California has about 88,000 FFA members statewide and is led by more than 760 advisers and agriculture teachers.