2 out of 3 Minnesota 4-H'ers engaged in a service project last year. 4-H youth across Northern Minnesota saw particular needs for warmth and compassion in their communities and took action by organizing, creating and partnering with others.
Lake County youth bring comfort and compassion
Each year, the Lake County 4-H Ambassadors identify service goals they want to meet together. Their 2020 theme was to bring comfort and compassion. In the midst of the pandemic, they opted to make fleece blankets that local emergency services could use when responding to calls in the cold of winter.
Nineteen year old Audrey Hanson was a key leader in this effort. She bought the blanket materials and, with the help of her older sister, prepared and delivered kits for each ambassador who agreed to contribute. Over the course of a few weeks, the Lake County Ambassadors made 47 blankets, which they donated to Lake County Ambulance Service and Lakeview Hospitals.
“I love helping others,” said Audrey. “It brings me joy seeing people get the help they need, especially when that help comes from people in their own community.” This effort to spread warmth and care across Lake County earned this group of youth the Association of Minnesota Counties’ 4-H Community Leadership award.
Northern Minnesota youth bring warmth to their communities
Youth in 17 Minnesota communities activated to collect more than 2,000 items for the Heads, Hands, and Toes winter gear drive earlier this year. Youth in the Norman County Super Sewers 4-H Club and the Carlton County Rowdy Wranglers 4-H Club were key contributors.
Karah Jacobson is a senior member of her 4-H sewing club. As an advanced sewer she teaches the younger members essential techniques for creating hand-made clothing. In support of the drive, she and her group hosted a ‘Super Sewers Superbowl for Charity’ event. Over the span of two hours they made 81 hats and donated them to Norman County West Elementary and local food shelves. “We make stuff all the time, but we thought about what we could make that could help others, that’s how we came up with the idea to make hats.”
Kendra Jurek is the President of the Rowdy Wranglers 4-H Club. Every year her club takes part in serving their community. As president of the club, Kendra has helped organize many other service related efforts to get youth and her community involved. This year the Rowdy Wranglers made and donated tie blankets to local emergency services. “I enjoy helping the people in my community by doing service projects. Creating the blankets with my club is one of the great activities we do together.”