Farmer and rancher members of Utah Farm Bureau ramped up charitable outreach in their local communities to commemorate the American Farm Bureau Federation's (AFBF) 100th anniversary year.
AFBF's three national program committees – The Promotion & Education (P&E) Committee, Women’s Leadership Committee, and Young Farmers & Ranchers Committee – encouraged grassroots members and state committees to "give back" to a variety of charities as part of the outreach, dubbed the 100-Day Centennial Challenge.
"The very spirit of Farm Bureau and grassroots farmer and rancher members is to offer their time and talents to enhance their communities, local service groups and charities," said Margee Wolff, vice president of leadership, education & engagement at AFBF. "As the American Farm Bureau marks and celebrates 100 years we can make the world a brighter place for families in need by working with our partners and allied organizations."
Utah farmers and ranchers participated in “Harvest for All” by donating more than 500 pounds of food to Open Doors Food Bank during our annual convention in Layton.
Throughout the fall the Utah P&E Committee held a Noah’s Bandage Project challenge, collecting fun bandages to be used by pediatric patients in both rural hospitals, and Primary Children’s Regional Hospital. Surprising to some, bandages are an agriculture product made in part from beef by-products. But a little primer on Noah’s Bandage Project.
Noah Wilson was diagnosed with cancer in April of 2014 (when he was only 6 years old). When his treatment began, he found himself getting pokes almost daily. The hospital where he was being treated did not have cool bandages, leaving the children there having to settle for the boring brown ones. Noah saw this as an opportunity to help his fellow patients, and decided that he wanted to start collecting cool and fun bandages for his new friends. Noah knew that a bandage is so much more than just a wound cover and wanted to help others see how awesome a cool and fun bandage could be. To Noah, a bandage is:
- A Badge of Courage – shots and procedures hurt and can very easily bring anxiety to those who have to experience them. A bandage becomes their badge of honor showing others that they overcame something scary. It helps them show off how brave they are!
- An identity – especially on a cancer floor, where kids wear similar hospital gowns, are bald, and end up looking a lot alike, a bandage becomes a way that a child can express themselves, and share with others the things they think are cool.
- Fun – Kids battling sickness of any kind need all the fun we can give them!
Noah passed away in June of 2015, but not before starting his Bandage Project and making a huge difference in the world. In honor of Noah and his legacy, Noah’s Bandage Project continues to help kids all across the globe.
To support the Noah’s Bandage Project, Utah Farm Bureau collected 9,323 bandages and donated $500 to children’s cancer research. Some of those bandages have been donated to local rural hospitals, but many were given to Primary Children’s hospital as well.
During our annual convention, Utah Farm Bureau volunteers made 50 advent calendars, 100 gift bags, five quilts and 35 gnomes to benefit Primary Children’s Hospital’s Festival of Trees fundraiser.
Volunteers also made 120 animal kits to benefit our local Ronald McDonald house. Ronald McDonald Houses allow families to access specialized medical treatment for their children by providing a place to stay at little or no cost. The connection between Farm Bureau and Ronald McDonald House Charities was forged in the mid-1990s.
Utah volunteers gave over 1,000 hours to celebrate AFBF’s 100th birthday!
Follow the hashtags #FBGivesBack and #AFBF100 on social media to keep up with the action.
Thank you to the many who participated in this effort of outreach and caring for others.