Community service is a major component of the 4-H Youth Development program.
At a minimum, 4-H members are required to participate in one community service event during the year. However, most 4-H clubs perform multiple events a year, and some even have one a month.
I am always amazed and humbled by the efforts of La Plata County communities and their ability to support and give to others in need. This was evident on a recent Friday night at the Pine Valley Four Square Church in Bayfield. Ignacio FFA and Bayfield FFA came together to host a fundraiser in support of Kaleb, Alayna and Kelton Lee.
These young people lost their father, Jeremiah Lee, in October of this year. Jeremiah served in local law enforcement for many years. The spaghetti dinner and silent auction was a great way to bring people together for this family. In addition, it raised much-needed funds to support the Lee family during the holiday season.
If you couldn’t attend, you can support the family by donating to the Jeremiah Lee Memorial Fund at First National Bank.
Big thanks go to Bridget Roderick, Ignacio FFA adviser and 4-H adult volunteer, for organizing this event. In addition, thanks go to all the local businesses and people who donated silent auction items and to everyone who helped set up, cook and break down. It was a true community effort.
4-H clubs throughout the county are busy participating in some wonderful community service projects. You may have seen the Rocky Mountain Rough Riders 4-H Club at the South City Market in Durango recently. The club is collecting food for the Durango Food Bank. It is very important to stock shelves for people dealing with hunger over the winter months.
In western La Plata County, the Pioneers 4-H Club in Marvel is also collecting food. In addition, at the club’s next meeting, members will be writing Christmas cards to soldiers serving in the U.S. armed forces. The Westside Wranglers in Redmesa have decided to identify a single elderly man in their community and give him a gift basket. The gift basket will have 12 gifts for him to open to celebrate the 12 days of Christmas.
The Florida Four Leaf 4-H Club decided to have the club meet at Walmart this month to go toy shopping. Members will then distribute toys to families in need in the Florida Mesa area. Also in Florida Mesa, the Generations 4-H Club has decided to make cookie trays to distribute to our local first responders as a thank-you for all their hard work throughout the year.
Mount Allison Go-Getters 4-H Club is taking on a leadership role in assisting Ignacio Headstart with its building. Members will also help Headstart with collecting and organizing food boxes for families in need, and they have decided to donate to Heifer International by purchasing rabbits and honeybees for families in developing countries.
I couldn’t highlight all of our clubs, however, I wanted to showcase the many valuable community service projects our 4-H clubs contribute to. As always, I am proud to serve this community and look forward to another year of making a difference in 2018.
Greg Felsen is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or 382-6463. Greg Felsen