The FFA recently announced a mark of 5000 shoes have been shipped to Iraqi civilians. The idea for the shoe donation came a couple of years ago from Gary Olson, an agricultural educator from Fort Atkinson. Olson was serving his first deployment in Iraq and noticed many of the children there didn't have shoes. Upon returning to Wisconsin, Olson teamed up with the 2006-2007 school year FFA officers. They began a statewide drive to collect new and used shoes for Iraqi children and adults.
Wisconsin FFA President Andrew Christenson, then Vice President, says it feels "pretty good" to be involved. He says the feedback has been rewarding with stories of smiles from children when they received a pair of shoes, even used ones.
Christenson says the FFA is dedicated to helping people worldwide and Operation Stand Solid is a reflection of that core philosophy.