SEBRING, Fla. (FOX 13) - When community members in Highlands County heard there was a middle-schooler who lost both her parents, they wanted to do something to help.
Then they learned about Khloe – the pig Hana Piety was raising to sell at auction.
Hana’s mother died in 2014. Three years later, her dad was in declining health, battling prostate cancer.
That’s when Hana got Khloe the pig and joined her school’s Future Farmers of America program.
When her father passed away, her advisor says she kept pushing her project forward.
“I was worried, you know, is she going to need help taking care of the pig or what do I need to do to support her, and she never wavered on anything. I think the pig was what she needed,” said FFA advisor Jara Ann Corsen.
As the Highlands County Fair came closer, the Junior Livestock Board decided to organize a special surprise for Hana.
Hana now lives with her older brother, Mark. He says they thought something was up, but they had no idea that the community raised so much money in so little time.
“They had less than 24 hours to put it together, and it was just. It's incredible, that people are willing to step up and help a family in need. A girl in need who has shown promise to everyone she meets or talks to just loves her. She’s a little old ray of sunshine,” Mark Piety said.
And when it came time to bid, the price per pound for Khloe just kept rising.
“I heard $100, and then $120, and then $125, and then $126,” Hana said. “I couldn't believe it. I was so happy.”
Her 248-pound pig fetched $126 a pound, raising more than $31,000 for Hana. The money will go into a trust fund to help pay for her education.
But for the middle school student and her brother, Khloe is priceless.
The piggy also brought smiles to a lot of faces, both in person and on social media. The video was shared more than 2,500 times in 18 hours.
“There's just too many words to explain how happy I am, and thankful for them to be in my life and to support me and my animal,” Hana said.
As for Khloe, Hana says “I get to eat my pig at the end. Whenever she gets processed.”
Anyone who would still like to donate to the fund can contact Swaine & Harris PA AT 863-385-1549 and ask about the Friends of Agriculture In Our Heartland.