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Supplies for tornado victims
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FFA students assemble boxes and pack supplies donated by the community to give to tornado victims in Ringgold, Ga.

Rockdale Career Academy students need your help to collect supplies to aid the tornado-ravaged community in Ringgold.

The 79 students of the FFA chapter at RCA are making a push to send a full tractor-trailer truckload of much needed items to one of three relief centers in Ringgold, Ga. Some of the items that area residents need include adult incontinence products, nutrition shakes, sports drinks, small foam coolers, plastic containers with lids, large heavy duty garbage bags, plastic tarps, heavy extension cords of 50 to 100 feet, non-perishable foods and cleaning products (not chlorine bleach).

Donations will be collected at RCA, 1064 Culpepper Drive off Parker Road, from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. until Tuesday, May 17. The deadline for collecting supplies was initially May 19 but was extended by a week to allow enough supplies to be collected.

On Wednesday, May 18, the items will be trucked to a collection point in Ringgold for distribution to area residents. FedEx has agreed to foot the cost of transporting a 53-foot semi trailer so the chapter is trying to fill it with supplies before May 18.

RCA instructor and FFA advisor Kevin Surrette said the FFA chapters were encouraged to help other chapters around the state affected by the tornados. "What better way to help the chapters than to help the entire community," he said.

Surrette is no stranger to the devastation caused by natural disasters. His hometown in Mississippi was demolished by a tornado in 1984, when he was a young man in the National Guard. "It was terrible," he said. He recalled how it took the community a long time to recover.

If you or your organization wishes to partner with the RCA FFA chapter in this relief effort, contact Fran Surrette or Kevin Surrette at the Rockdale Career Academy at 770-388-5677.