4-H Serves Florida: project grant application open, impact updates

The Florida 4-H Foundation now accepting applications for 4-H Serves Florida: Project Grants. Individual 4-H members, clubs, and county programs in Florida may submit a request up to $400 to support the repair, rebuilding, or replacement of a 4-H project impacted by Hurricanes Ian and/or Nicole.

Apply Online: https://tinyurl.com/4Hservesapp

  • Projects must be educational and for the benefit of enrolled Florida 4-H member(s).
  • Initial application deadline is December 20, 2022, with award notifications sent by January 9, 2023.
    • Application will remain open and project grants awarded on a rolling basis as long as funds remain available.
  • Total number of grants and amount awarded depends on total funds available.
  • For questions contact: grow4H@ifas.ufl.edu.

Lasting Impacts

Hurricane Ian raked a path of destruction across Florida. On September 28, 2022, Ian made landfall near Cayo Costa, a barrier island west of Fort Myers. The storm devastated the gulf coast and inland communities as the second-deadliest storm to strike the continental U.S. this century, behind Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

On November 10, Hurricane Nicole made landfall twice in Florida. First landing south of Vero Beach, crossing the state to briefly emerge over the Gulf and land again northwest of Cedar Key. Nicole weakened to a depression while moving over the Florida Panhandle. Unfortunately, the storm crossed some of the same areas devastated six weeks earlier by Hurricane Ian. 

Children's artwork for 4-H.
Encouraging artwork from Halstead Cloverleaf 4-H Club in Kansas.

4-H’ers use Head, Heart, Hands and Health to support fellow 4-H and community members in need.

Members, professionals, volunteers, friends, and supporters across the state and country responded in countless ways – from words of encouragement to lending a helping hand.

Teen leaders on the Florida 4-H Executive Board organized and assembled at-home activity kits for kids during their First Executive Board weekend of the year at 4-H Camp Timpoochee. Each kit contained five activities. Some activities were pollinator themed using supplies donated by the Florida 4-H Pollinator Team. The group donated proceeds from the weekend’s Florida 4-H Store pop-up to the 4-H Serves project.

May be an image of 10 people, people sitting and people standing
4-H Serves Florida activity kits assembled by teen leaders.

Within days of landfall, Broward County 4-H’ers delivered critical relief items to Pine Island, one of the hardest hit areas along our coast. Club members gathered relief items at the local barn where they hold meetings, and a small group made the trip west to deliver. The Matlacha Isles Fire Department escorted the delivery team to a location where the U.S. Coast Guard was bringing in victims, and loading first responders and supplies to return the island.

Supply Drive

In response to Hurricane Ian, 4-H agents Arielle Pierce of Lee County and Shayla Reighter of Pasco County quickly organized a supply drive. With support from UF/IFAS colleagues, volunteers and 4-H members, critical supplies were delivered to those in need. Arielle reported, “because of our fabulous 4-H community in Florida and beyond, we were able to distribute over $14,500 worth of supplies to those affected by Hurricane Ian. We served over 85 families and individuals, with additional items going to a local school and food pantry supporting underserved communities in Lee County.” Our deepest gratitude to all who donated, gathered and transported these critical supplies.

4-H club leads service project
Okeechobee 4-H members lead livestock project relief effort.

Livestock Project Relief

Weeks following the storm 4-H’ers continued to encounter supply obstacles. Okeechobee 4-H’ers rolled up their sleeves to help neighboring counties. Partnering with Okeechobee Feed, Inc. they worked to secure, weigh, package, transport and distribute animal feed to fellow members. They delivered more than 1500 pounds of show pig feed, 30 bales of coastal and 750 pounds of chicken feed to members in Highlands and DeSoto Counties. View these youth in action by clicking here.

Want to help increase project funding available to 4-H members impacted by these natural disasters?

You can make your gift online at: tinyurl.com/4Hserves. Check payable to Florida 4-H Foundation may be mailed to PO BOX 110225, Gainesville, FL 32611. (For 2022 tax credit gifts must be USPS postmarked by 12/31 or made online by 11:59pm EST.)


The UF and Florida 4-H Foundations are registered 501c3 organizations supporting Florida 4-H. 4-H is the youth development program of the land-grant university and Cooperative Extension system. The program provides hands-on educational experiences for youth ages 5-18 to develop young people as individuals and responsible citizens. 4-H empowers youth to be leaders in their communities today and into the future. In Florida, 4-H is administered by UF/IFAS Extension and Florida A&M University.


Avatar photo
Posted: December 13, 2022

Category: 4-H & Youth, Blog Community, Clubs & Volunteers, Community Volunteers, UF/IFAS Extension, UF/IFAS Extension
Tags: #4Hserves, #Florida4H, 4-H Serves Florida, Florida 4-H, Florida 4-H Foundation, Okeechobee, UF/IFAS Extension Broward County, UF/IFAS Extension Lee County, UF/IFAS Extension Pasco County

Subscribe For More Great Content

IFAS Blogs Categories