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Kids Step Up to Serve Their Communities
Kansas Ag Connection - 11/08/2018

Kansas kids once again rose to the occasion to serve their communities during the annual 48 Hours of 4-H project in mid-October.

More than 100 groups planned activities that took place across Kansas sometime during the 48-hour period of Oct. 13-14. This is the fifth year that Kansas 4-H has promoted this weekend of service, which falls at the end of National 4-H Week.

"It teaches us to look for ways to serve in our community," said 14-year-old Emma Littich, a member of the Smoky View 4-H Club in Lindsborg. "We also had to learn how to put together our service projects from beginning to end. I think the 4-H'ers that participated were reminded to be kind to others and always look for ways they can help."

Littich is a 4-H officer in the Central Kansas District in Saline and Ottawa counties, which hosted 14 projects over both days of the weekend. Together, those projects provided:

- 75 snack bags, 35 placemats and 17 seasonal decorations for nursing home residents.

- 52 bookmarks, 195 books and 30 sock puppets for local libraries.

- 19 pounds of candy for "Candy for Cops."

- 52 cards for veterans.

- 20 bags of baking mix and 50 cans of food for the food bank.

- 56 pairs of socks for the rescue mission.

- 96 decorated water bottles for mail carriers.

Their work was just a snapshot of the service that Kansas 4-H provided during this year's event.

Beth Hinshaw, the southeast area extension specialist who helps to coordinate the event, said 2,015 people participated in 84 projects that have reported thus far.

Together, those groups collected 7,782 items, including food, pet supplies, cleaning supplies, toilet paper and more to help people in need, as well as $24,516 for various causes. There were 30 projects that included taking collections or donations; 29 to clean up parts of a community; 10 that were educational projects; four for a benefit or cause; and one appreciation event.

Hinshaw said 314 4-H alumni participated, and there were 88 new 4-H'ers recruited to the youth organization.

Some other examples of projects during the weekend of service included:

- Kids and volunteers in Elk County installed 24 fire alarms for free in local homes.

- More than 40 kids in Colby baked cookies and spent a day playing games and other activities with nursing home residents.

- 39 kids in Coffey County and 80 kids in Cherokee County spent a day writing thank-you letters and building care packages for troops overseas.

- In Horton and Brown counties, 4-H'ers spent the day picking up trash along local highways.

- 4-H'ers in Waverly collected supplies to help a newly opened daycare, the first such facility ever in their town.

- Kids in Crawford County fixed kennels and collected supplies for a local dog shelter.

- Dickinson County youths spent their day cleaning up trails and other areas of the Rock Springs 4-H Center.

Hinshaw said there were more than 80 groups in Kansas that volunteered their time and effort to help the communities in their area.

"Hopefully we start a chain reaction with service," Littich said. "If we can be kind and serve others, then hopefully those on the receiving end will look for ways they can pass it along too. 48 Hours of 4-H is also another great way to show what 4-H is about, and show what we do for people in our communities."

Learn more about Kansas 4-H and its work around the state at www.Kansas4-H.org.

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