Service is a large part of 4-H. The 4-H motto, “To make the best better,” not only applies to ourselves as 4-H members but it encourages us to make our community, country and world better. In fact, in our pledge we pledge our hands to larger service to our club our country and our world.
I have been impressed by our youth’s excitement and willingness to serve. Here are just two examples: The teen council wrapped 100 books for the Tooele Library, two of our clubs worked together to make 200 Christmas placemats for Meals on Wheels to deliver to each senior who receives a meal.
The 4-H office is hosting a service adventure to make Winter Boxes for families in need who live in the outlying areas of the county where assistance is rarely received. The boxes are not holiday themed and will be collected all the month of December, then delivered in January into February when less help is available for these families. We had one 4-H member get her school class at Old Mill Elementary involved and they put together 11 boxes. One of our 4-Hers got her Girl Scout Troop 2330 involved. They handmade blankets and cards and put two boxes together. Youth from the Girls and Boys Club put a couple boxes together. It is amazing what can be accomplished when we get the youth involved.
The Year of 2021 we will be launching all new service adventures. We will have a fun and engaging year-round program that provides a pathway and incentives to help motivate the youth. We call it a service learning adventure! There will be a kickoff week January 11-15 with simple daily service challenges: Sit by someone who is alone, write a thank you note, hold a door open for someone, tell a teacher something positive, or compliment someone and ask someone who needs a friend to play a game.
Then there will be challenges in February, April, June, August, October, and December running the 5th through the 20th of each month. One of these will be a Goose Chase Challenge for those who would like to participate virtually. The youth will download the app, enter a code/password that will be given by the 4-H office then complete a service task.
Service is not a single event. It is a way of life. Our 4-Hers do service on a daily basis. We want to help our youth better understand what they are doing and strengthen their ability to make a difference in others’ lives. We hope we can all carry that spirit of giving and service throughout the year.
If you would like to join us in the Winter Box service, you can find more information at tooele4h.org or extension.usu.edu/tooele/ or simply go to Create Better Health Facebook page. You could also call or stop by the Extension Office at 151 N. Main St., Tooele, 435-277-2409.
Robyn Handley is a 4-H Volunteer/Teen Council Advisor at the USU Extension – Tooele County office, which is located inside the Tooele County Health Department Building, 151 N. Main, Tooele. For more information about the Tooele County 4-H Program, contact Handley at 435-277-2402 or send email to email@example.com.