Brownwood High School FFA member Austin Haynes explained why chapter members are willing to help people in need such as victims of Hurricane Harvey, the Texas Panhandle fires and the Dec. 15 house fire on Avenue B.
    “We, as agriculturalists and as just common people with morality, feel that even though they’re the ones in need right now, at one point or another, we could be the ones that need the help,” Haynes, a junior, said at the FFA class Christmas party Thursday afternoon.
    “So we’re always willing to lend a helping hand because we recognize that one of these days down the road, we ourselves are going to be in need of a helping hand.”
    Haynes and fellow FFA chapter members Emily Chapa and Dalainy Garza broke away from the party for a few minutes and gathered near gift bags, clothing, supplies and other items that had been placed on tables for distribution.
    The items were the fruit of drives organized by FFA chapter members to benefit The Ark domestic and sexual abuse shelter, as well as Maria Rocha and her four teenage daughters, who were displaced in the Avenue B fire.
    FFA chapter members have organized drives to assist people in need, including victims of the hurricane and panhandle fires.
    “I think the FFA chapter has made us grown into compassionate and caring people through all of our chapter activities and competitions,” junior Emily Chapa said, “With the guidance of Mr. and Mrs. Wilson, they have always taught us to be better than we were yesterday.”
    Chap was referring to husband-and-wife ag teachers Cade and Chelsea Wilson.
    When asked if they think the entire student body is a caring group, senior Dalainy Garza responded quickly, “Oh, yes.”
    “Definitely,” Chapa added. She said when students pass the girls from the Avenue B fire in the hall, students ask the girls if they’re OK and if they need anything.
    Haynes said, “I believe we have great leadership, not only within our administration at Brownwood High School, but also the individual teachers that are in charge of individual programs — I’m sure each and every one of those programs have their own way of helping out.
    “Our student body is a very generous and very giving student body.”