“I pledge…my hands to larger service…for my club, my community, my country and my world.”
This part of the 4-H pledge is recited by 4-H’ers all over the globe…but what does it really mean?
For more than 90 years Community Service has been an important part of 4-H. So has
hands-on, learning-by-doing, or experiential learning. 4-H now promotes “service learning experiences”, or a form of experiential learning in which youth apply the
subject matter they are learning along with critical thinking skills to address genuine
When youth are involved in selecting and planning such efforts, and have structured time to reflect, talk, and write about the service activity they are doing, the youth (Smith, A. T., 1997):
- Learn more
- Become more confident about what they have learned
- Improve in problem-solving ability
- Improve their leadership and social abilities improve
- Take more enjoyment in the overall learning experience
- Retain the subject matter longer
- Are more likely to volunteer to serve the community in the future
Pinellas County 4-H Serves Community after Disasters
Pinellas County 4-H’ers work on many community service projects throughout their 4-H year. This year, after a handful of natural disasters that affected us locally, and others globally, many of our 4-H’ers stepped up to help out their “community, their country, and their world.”
For example, two members of the Earth Explorers 4-H club had the idea to provide power to their neighborhood’s cell phones with their generator, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Even small acts of kindness like these, can make huge impacts on the community.
Another project that Pinellas County 4-H is working on, in partnership with Pennsylvania 4-H and Puerto Rico 4-H, is the Puerto Rico Support Task Force. This team of 4-H staff, volunteers, alumni, and members came together to help our fellow 4-H families in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of the devastating hurricanes they experienced this year, where many families lost everything. This project is ongoing, so we need people like you to help out our 4-H’ers in Puerto Rico.
How can you help?
Assemble a 4-H Care Kits
Puerto Rico 4-H has identified a location to send the following items for 4-H Care Kits (see below), which will be distributed to 4-H families across the island. USPS flat rate boxes are an economical shipping option for the smaller items. You can get these boxes at the post office or pick up one at Pinellas County Extension. Your contributions will mean a great deal to the 4-H members of Puerto Rico because they are from the heart!
4-H Care Kits
Hand and bath towels
Hygiene Kits: dental brush, tooth paste, dental floss, soap, shampoo, hair brush, sanitary napkins, hand or baby wipes, deodorant, hand sanitizer, insect repellents
First Aid Kits
Small flash lights
School supplies: notebooks, pencils, crayons, coloring books
Energy bars, granola bars, dried fruits
Mail the items to:
Servicio de Extensión Agricola
Attn. Judith Conde
Calle Ceiba 1204 Jardín Botanico Sur
San Juan PR 00926-1120
If you participate in this project, please email a picture and blurb about what you collected to abowers@pinellascounty.
Like Pinellas County 4-H for updates about events, projects, and to see the amazing things the 4-H’ers are doing all across the county: https://www.facebook.com/Pinellas4H/
Stay tuned for our next 4-H blog in our three part series about community service, which will discuss our statewide 4-H Service Learning Project, Project L.I.F.E (Living in Florida’s Environments).