While Indianapolis residents might not experience a sea of blue jackets this fall because the National FFA Convention & Expo is going virtual — that’s not keeping the organization from giving back to the Indianapolis community.
As part of giving back to the host city, the National FFA Organization announced today that it is donating $10,000 to the Indiana Hospitality Relief Fund through the Indiana Restaurant and Lodging Association.
“The women and men in the Indianapolis hospitality industry always roll out the red carpet for our members and guests during our convention each October,” said National FFA Organization Chief Executive Officer Mark Poeschl. “This unprecedented time has created hardships for many, and while we won’t be able to see our friends across the city in-person this fall, we wanted to let them know that we are still thinking of them, that we want to support them, and that we are looking forward to seeing them again in 2021.”
The national convention and expo, which brings more than 65,000 visitors to the city, traditionally has an economic impact of more than $35 million on the city.
“Though we will miss welcoming National FFA visitors to Indy in person this year, we are extremely thankful their positive impact in our city will continue,” said Chris Gahl with Visit Indy. “With roughly half of the city’s 83,000 men and women who depend on tourism for a paycheck currently unemployed tied to COVID, we are thankful for the generous donation to support these families during this difficult time.”
Traditionally during the national convention and expo, FFA members also give back to the community through National Days of Service (NDoS). While the members won’t be in the city this year, FFA employees will be giving back through a variety of volunteer opportunities throughout the month. It’s all part of a bigger initiative by the organization to have nationwide community engagement programs for NDoS, sponsored by CoBank, Tractor Supply Company, and Cargill.
“We know service is an important part of the FFA experience for our members,” said Michele Sullivan, senior manager of local engagement for the National FFA Organization. “With convention going virtual this year, FFA is excited to launch the first-ever National Days of Service set to take place across the country. Just as FFA is asking our local chapters to serve their communities in October, national FFA staff will also be participating in NDoS by volunteering at local organizations in and around Indianapolis.”
The National FFA Convention & Expo will be held virtually, Oct. 27 to 29, 2020. More information on the event can be found by visiting convention.FFA.org.