LOGAN, Utah — For most students, the week before spring break is a time when they make final preparations for a week of fun and vacation, but for a group of Green Canyon High School students, it was a time to organize a relief effort to assist the many families in Nebraska affected by the flooding.
The Green Canyon High School FFA Chapter found a list on the Hastings Chamber of Commerce website of items needed in the affected areas, according to club faculty adviser Jared Storrs.
“These guys helped out a bunch with the collections, the donations,” Storrs said. “They split up into groups and they had a person who was in charge of going to the stores and ask if we could set up.”
Last month, Nebraska experienced record flooding caused by heavy rainfall and rapid snowmelt across the Missouri River Basin. According to NPR, 74 counties declared an emergency with about $1.3 billion in damages.
GCHS FFA President Caleb Watterson said one of the reasons they organized the outreach was because the disaster felt personal to the group.
“We’re farm kids,” Watterson said. “We know what they’re going through.”
Throughout the week, students sat outside of Lee’s, IFA and Smithfield Implement collecting items like pet food, cleaning supplies, toilet paper, toothpaste and other essential items.
In one week, the students were able to collect enough items to fill half of Storrs’ trailer. They also received about $600 in monetary donations.
Storrs said as the students were loading the trailer, they told him that if they had had more time, they would have been able to collect more items and send more help.
“I felt that as hard of work as these guys put in, I needed to finish the job and get it delivered,” Storrs said.
During the week of spring break, Storrs drove his family and the supplies gathered by the students to Grand Island, Nebraska. While in Grand Island, Storrs said he drove around to see the area he was in.
“I went for a drive just around,” Storrs said. “About 10 miles was the first part of the main flooding. They lost probably 30 homes, a bunch, a bunch of farm ground still underwater.”
Storrs said seeing the disaster made him feel good about the help they were able to provide. As for the students, they said they want to continue to help the community.
“Kind of always makes you feel good to know that you’re helping out others,” Watterson said. “That’s kind of what an FFA group should do, is help others.”
GCHS FFA Historian Taysie Griffin said it felt great to work with the community to help out.
“As soon as you do something, you’re going to want to do more,” Griffin said.
Storrs said the students organized the outreach to help the families in Nebraska.
“When you do service, you don’t really do it to brag or boast,” Storrs said. “If we’re recognizing anything, it’s the hard work these kids put in.”