The Flagler County 4-H program is the true definition of community togetherness and loyalty. During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have all encountered some sort of hardships. It has been so gratifying to see 4-H members work together to help our community. The announcement that all 4-H meetings, events and competitions had been postponed, came during the Flagler County spring break. Not only was spring break interrupted, but all 4-H events, which many look forward to all year long. However, that did not stop our 4-H community to find ways to help one another during this time.
In April, when the CDC recommended that everyone wear face coverings was when it all began. Ilana Shimmel, the 4-H program assistant and I made 20 masks to donate to those in need in our community. Pat Cody along with her two grandchildren, Bryson and Bailey, made over 300 masks. Pat Cody is the 4-H leader for Haw Creek Farm and Home and her grandchildren are both in 4-H. These masks were mailed to New York, Montana, Pennsylvania, Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee and several cities in Florida. But it did not stop there! Another 4-H member of Haw Creek Farm and Home, Drew Medearis made over 3,200 plastic hooked ear savers. They are designed to help relieve the pressure of those wearing mask for hours on end. Drew has spent roughly 15 hours a day over the past 5 weeks making these amazing devices using 3-D printers, graciously approved by FPCHS principal and assistant principal.
They were donated to many hospitals, Sheriff Offices, Police and Fire Departments in the Flagler, St Johns and Duval counties.
I also want to recognize the efforts of those that donated items to make all this possible. Not only did myself, along with, Ilana Shimmel, Pat Cody and Drew Medearis use materials we had, we also received donations from Lori Myers, 4-H volunteer, Hope Crawford, 4-H Leader, Penny Buckles, Flagler County Fair Vice President and the Flagler County Memory Makers. I have said this many times before and I’ll say it again, it takes a village to run a successful 4-H program and I am grateful to say we have one outstanding village here in Flagler County! These efforts never go unnoticed, especially in the eyes of our 4-H community! I am beyond proud to have the opportunity to work with these amazing volunteers, leaders and youth that continually make a positive difference in this world.
Contributed by Alisha Hutchinson, UF/IFAS Extension Flagler County 4-H Agent