By Faith Miller
Hillsborough County Future Farmers of America (FFA) members are now being given new opportunities to access affordable official dress clothing items.
The FFA Official Dress Closet is a new Facebook group page connecting different members within the Hillsborough County area who are in need of official dress clothing items.
The page was created by Dee Dee Wheeler, a mother of two previous FFA members who are now junior high and high school agriculture teachers. She described that, due to her children being so involved during their time in FFA, she realized that there has always been a need for an organization like this in the community.
“Just recently, when Florida began going to FFA Contests again, I have witnessed pictures on social media where our students are not properly clothed based on the rules put forth by the National and FL FFA Associations,” Wheeler said.
She knew that points were deducted at the contests if the students were not following the guidelines and wanted to find a way where she would be able to help.
The program started on March 23 after she had been pondering on the idea through the past couple years, after being inspired by a former student of her daughter’s agriculture class.
“Finally, I sat down in March, put my thoughts together and just put my heart out to our community asking for assistance,” Wheeler said.
If interested, participants can contact Wheeler regarding donations to schedule a way for them to be picked up or dropped off. So far, the program has inspired three individuals to purchase four complete official dress sets as well as a family to purchase two jackets to be donated for FFA members in need. It has also received monetary donations and other forms of clothing donations.
More information regarding the FFA Closet for Hillsborough County Students or contacting it is available through its Facebook group page, titled ‘FFA Official Dress Closet (Hillsborough County Florida).’