Coretta Scott King said, “The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.”
One of the integral parts of the 4-H program is giving back to our community through service. We believe that by participating in community service, our youths will become more compassionate and giving: two very important characteristics of a well-rounded citizen and a great community.
I am so proud of our 4-H members and leaders for their innovations, thoughtfulness and commitment to our community. Although 4-H is not able to meet in person because of COVID-19 restrictions, our members have still made a positive impact on our community over the holiday season.
Animas Valley 4-H Club got together over Zoom and made Christmas crafts as a group. These crafts along with other homemade cards, letters and gifts were sent to Four Corners Health Care Center in time for Christmas. A wonderful thank-you note was received by the club from the Four Corners staff members, which described some of the residents crying when they received their gifts.
Pine River 4-H Club collected food, household items and gift cards to ensure a wonderful Christmas to a family in need. They have also created a pen pal program with the residents from Evenings Porch Assisted Living, and they will continue to pen-pal with them throughout the year.
Mount Allison Go-Getters 4-H Club believes in giving not only locally but internationally. Each year, club members support a fellow 4-H or FFA member by sponsoring an animal for the Catch-It Program. They also give to Heifer International, a program that works to end poverty and hunger around the world, and they collect canned food each month to give to TARA Food Pantry in Ignacio.
Weaselskinners 4-H Club participated in a food drive for the Navajo Reservation in November. In December, club members collected letters and purchased games, snacks, hats and gloves for a military troop stationed in Alaska.
The Florida Four Leaf 4-H Club had each member hand-make three Christmas cards, which included a little about themselves and their 4-H projects, and delivered them to Evenings Porch Assisted Living.
The Westside Wranglers 4-H Club made Christmas cards for people who are not able to get out of their home because of COVID-19 concerns and were not able to visit family over the holidays. Their letters were able to brighten the holidays for some community members who were feeling lonely.
As a society, we have a tendency to think about the food banks and animal shelters during the holidays, but they are in need of supplies throughout the year. As you are able, please support their efforts not only during the holidays, but throughout the year as well.
I would also like to encourage everyone to continue to think about our elders in the community and be sure to reach out to them and let them know you are thinking about them. We have been fighting COVID-19 for almost a year, which means the majority of our elderly community members have been socially isolated for that long. Make time to spread the love and reach out to them, and to all of your friends and family. We are so much stronger together.
Angela Fountain is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6460.Angela Fountain