Fourth annual event will be Oct. 7-8
MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas 4-H members will be out in full force during the weekend of Oct. 7-8 when the fourth annual 48 Hours of 4-H community service event takes place around Kansas.
Among the dozens of projects currently planned, 4-Hers in Lyon County will repair stones in an old cemetery; 4-H members in Leon will make pies for a fundraising event at the church where they meet; and Miami County 4-Hers will collect basic care items to be distributed to nursing homes and other charities.
“What we know is that 4-Hers have always cared about their communities and have always provided community service,” said Beth Hinshaw, the southeast area 4-H youth development specialist who coordinates the statewide 48 Hours of 4-H event.
“This just gives us an opportunity to focus on community service during these two days. We know that a lot of service happens the rest of the year, but this is an opportunity to highlight it over a full weekend.”
The event caps off the National 4-H Week celebration taking place across the country. According to the National 4-H Council, there are more than 6 million 4-Hers across the country, touching every county and parish in the U.S. through land-grant universities and local extension offices.
“Each local unit celebrates a bit differently,” said Amy Sollock, the southwest area 4-H youth development specialist, who is helping to coordinate National 4-H week activities in Kansas. “Stafford County 4-H, for example, is participating in the national youth science day. They are working with the junior high schools in St. John and Stafford to complete the ‘incredible wearables’ technology challenge.
“Other units celebrate National 4-H Week by thanking donors and sponsors, some hold project fairs, membership drives, send flyers home through school, and more. 48 Hours of 4-H, though, is by far the biggest statewide effort that week.”
In Spring Hill, 4-Hers will make fleece blankets for Project Linus, a national organization that donates blankets to children in hospitals and crisis situations.
The Wolf Creek Valley 4-H Club in Russell County will do yard work for community members in Lucas and Luray, and donate proceeds to the local fire department.
In Satanta, 4-Hers will hold a food drive to create weekend backpacks for kids whose families may not have the financial means to provide three meals a day. The club will donate $200 of its own money toward the cause.
The list of projects planned Oct. 7-8 goes on and on, ranging from serving meals at local shelters to playing bingo and board games with veterans to raising money to help people in need of guide dogs.
4-H groups planning activities have registered their project through the Kansas 4-H office. Hinshaw provided a list that includes nearly three dozen projects as of mid-September.
“There’s really something for everyone in 4-H and I think that is the message we get from seeing all of the projects that are planned,” Hinshaw said. “The variety of community service projects reflects the variety that 4-H offers.”
Hinshaw cited research from Tufts University that indicates that “4-Hers are four times more likely to make contributions to their community. It’s a foundation that they get from being in 4-H.”
For more information about 48 Hours of 4-H, visit http://www.kansas4-h.org/events-activities/conferences-events/48-hours-of-4-h. On social media, look for the hashtag, #484H.
For more information about National 4-H Week, visit 4-H.org. To learn more about becoming a 4-Her, go to www.JoinKansas4H.org.
“National 4-H Week is a good time to celebrate and promote the life skills and friendships gained through 4-H,” Sollock said. “It is a prime opportunity to reach out to alumni, dispel stereotypes, and invite new families to join a local 4-H club. We want everyone to know that 4-H gives kids skills to lead for a lifetime.”