We’re back to school, or at least some version of it. Surely a form that is unlikely to be preferred among students, school may not be fulfilling our ideal dreams that we’ve imagined for years. As FFA members, we have heard Theodore Roosevelt’s quote, “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” so often. But with this virus forcing unique precautions and Oregon literally burning right before our eyes, it may not seem like we have anything to give at all. Lots of hands feel bare and worn right now, and too many physically are; but the truth is, there is always a part of each of us that someone else or other people need. 

When the evacuations started, my team and advisors jumped into action immediately. They opened the State Fairgrounds and started to take in animals that didn’t have anywhere to go, alongside other county grounds throughout the state. Species from house dogs and cats, to cattle have been brought in seeking refuge. And while many have been lucky enough to be graced with humanity, too many haven’t had the same privilege. Fires and Covid-19 do not discriminate against anyone or anything. Those who have been lucky enough to have missed their path have a chance to do so much good right now and offer humanity where these destructors have demolished it. If I could leave you with one thought, it would be: your ability to help is powered by the absence of humanity. 

There are so many helping hands actively working, but there are even more people and animals that are victims of this inequivalence of humanity. But that also means there is so much we have the ability to do. What you have to offer will look different than what your peer does, but whatever you can give is welcomed all the same. Your distinct skills are needed right now. As leaders in a world where it is difficult to be one, it is important that you stand when no one else will and simply be the light where the darkness is vast. My team and I are here to support you, physically and emotionally, as much as possible. 

As we take on this new rhythm of living and adjust to the mishappenings of ourselves as well others, OR FFA is adjusting and living this right along with all of you. We will continue to strive to empower our members and shed light on those around us as frequently as possible. The band Mumford and Sons sang,

“Keep the Earth below my feet

For all my sweat, my blood runs weak

Let me learn from where I have been

Keep my eyes to serve and my hands to learn”

May we live out those words now more than ever before. We are the lending hand. Stay safe!

With so much admiration,

Alivia Robbins

2020-21 Oregon FFA State Reporter