Suwannee 4-H Lends Hands to Hurricane Relief

“I pledge my Head to Clearer Thinking, My Heart to Greater Loyalty, My Hands to Larger Service, and My Health to Better Living. For My Club, My Community, My Country, and My World.” Alongside the Pledge of Allegiance, this 4-H Pledge is said to start any 4-H meeting or program. Some may think of it as just words, but Suwannee 4-H members strive to embody this pledge everyday. Especially in times of need, Suwannee 4-H members step up to lend helping hands to their community.

In light of the havoc wreaked by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, three Suwannee 4-H Clubs answered the call to serve. The Live Oak Learners, Trailblazers, and Young Riders each played their part in ensuring that recovery from the devastation of the recent hurricanes was just a bit easier.

Raising Funds for Harvey Relief
Live Oak Learners 4-H Club Standing Under Pavilion with Tea 4 Texas Fundraiser
Live Oak Learners 4-H Club Raising Funds with Tea 4 Texas Event

On September 1st, 2017, the Live Oak Learners took to the parking lot of O’Reilly Auto Parts in Live Oak. Their goal was to raise money on behalf of Convoy of Hope for those affected by Harvey. According to their website, Convoy of Hope is “a faith-based, nonprofit organization with a driving passion to feed the world through children’s feeding initiatives, community outreaches, and disaster response.” By selling baked goods and sweet tea, the 4-H members were able to raise $575 to help fund relief efforts.

Cleaning Up After Irma
Suwannee Trailblazers holding their yard tools after cleaning up at the Veterans Memorial in Live Oak, FL
Suwannee Trailblazers 4-H Club holding their yard tools after cleaning up at the Veterans Memorial in Live Oak, FL

September 23rd, 2017 was a busy day around Live Oak for Suwannee 4-H. Both the Suwannee Trailblazers and Young Riders could be found out and about cleaning up the damage left by Irma. At the Veteran’s Memorial, the Trailblazers were picking up debris to ensure the lost heroes still received their due respect. The 4-H Club had decided a few weeks earlier that they would dedicate their service efforts towards the Memorial to get it up to snuff by Veteran’s Day. Through their continued efforts, the headstones have been shined, shrubbery managed, and decorative flowers added.

Suwannee Young Riders standing outside the newly cleaned Boys Ranch bathhouse.
Suwannee Young Riders standing outside the newly cleaned Boys Ranch bathhouse.

Outside of town, the Young Riders made their way to the Florida Sherriff’s Boys Ranch to clean up Irma’s mess. Both adults and youth made the bathhouse look spick and span, as if Irma had never even happened. Throughout the year, the Young Rider 4-H members take part in many events at the Boys Ranch, so they wanted to ensure that their beloved Ranch would be where it needed to be for its recent Open House.

Benefit of Community Service

According to a publication by Marilyn Norman and Joy Jordan through UF/IFAS Extension, “by participating in community service, youth connect to communities and learn to give back. These experiences help youth understand the ‘big picture’ of life and find purpose and meaning.” For this reason, whether it’s through service or fundraising, Suwannee 4-H encourages year round engagement within the community, and we’re especially proud when our 4-H members respond to urgent needs within their community and country.

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Posted: November 1, 2017


Category: 4-H & Youth
Tags: Community Service; 4-H Clubs


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