Logan Browne wants FFA members to realize their potential.
“I want to help FFA members know that they can still do things to positively impact others, even if they don’t personally know them,” he says.
Logan, a member of Eastwood FFA in Bowling Green, Ohio, is head of the Piggy Bank Project, a nonprofit working to raise money for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn.
The project began when Logan and Mike Nygren of Showpig.com learned of a customer’s granddaughter, Scout, who was battling cancer and had undergone two years of treatment at St. Jude’s.
Logan explains that this pediatric cancer hospital provides free treatment for every patient and depends entirely on donations for its important work. Logan and Nygren were inspired to help contribute to the St. Jude cause.
“We wanted to do this project in Scout’s honor, and get other FFA chapters involved in raising money,” Logan says.
A Paper Mache Pig
The pair kicked things off at the 2013 National FFA Convention & Expo in Louisville, Ky., recruiting FFA chapters and building a giant paper mache piggy bank to draw attention to their cause.
“I had built a 20-foot paper mache strawberry for my town’s strawberry festival,” Nygren says. “That gave me the idea for the pig.”
He took the idea and turned it into a contest, to get the chapters even more excited about service.
Participating chapters have built their own paper mache pig to raise awareness at functions where they’re trying to raise money, such as football games, FFA events and more. They will also be inviting other organizations, such as 4-H chapters, to participate.
The judging criteria includes a combination of the largest piggy bank, the most unique design, the number of people involved and the total funds raised for St. Jude. That winning chapter will win a $5,000 cash award.
The core Piggy Bank Project team also took the pig on tour this summer to approximately 20 states in order to recruit more FFA chapters.
Logan had leadership experience before he was promoting the pig, serving on his FFA officer team for two years. He says his chapter was very involved in service, but he always thought they could do more.
“FFA members have so much potential, and with this project, it’s so cool that kids are creating and leading it, rather than it being adult-led,” Logan says.
Nygren adds that Logan has been a prime example for other student leaders looking to become more involved in service.
“Logan is very take-charge and gets the job done,” Nygren says. “We’re both entrepreneurial, which makes us a good team for this project.”
Working with students for more than 40 years, Nygren’s passion is to mentor students into leaders and push them where they need to be challenged. He says Logan is a perfect example that age is not a factor when it comes to being a great leader.
Logan is proud of their accomplishments, too, and he hopes other FFA members will find their own opportunities to serve others in a big way.
“I hope FFA members realize that anything is possible if you can dream it,” Logan says. “Don’t limit yourself. If you have just one idea, with a little effort and hard work, it can turn into something huge.”
Learn more about the project and how you can contribute at WorldChangersMovement.org/ Piggy-Bank-Project.
– Rachel Bertone