- Author: Jenna Colburn
Recently the news has been dominated by coverage of Hurricane Harvey's destruction in Texas and along the Gulf Coast. Thousands of people are estimated to be displaced. Hurricane Harvey could be the costliest natural disaster in U.S. history.
Locally in California, wildfires are burning in various parts of the state, with more expected during this spell of hot dry weather.
When you see area devastation and people suffering, your first response may be to start mobilizing to help. But first, you should:
Map out a plan
If you collect 1000 blankets, who will you give them to and how will you get them where they need to be? Are blankets what are really needed? The only way to answer these questions is to have good plan with plenty of support in place before your start your project. This will ensure that your efforts to make a difference will be successful and sustainable.
Unsolicited donated goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs require agencies to redirect their valuable resources away from providing relief services. They will have to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not even meet the needs of disaster survivors.
Find reputable local organizations to support
The best way to help in disaster areas is to support relief organizations that are already established in the area.
There are many resources to verify relief organizations:
- Give.org- the BBB Wise Giving Alliance
- National Public Radio lists organizations with presence in Houston and the surrounding affected areas.
- Texas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
Contact organizations that are able to accept goods before you start collecting items. Organizations will have different supply needs at different times during the disaster recovery.
Know our 4-H policy on fundraising and donating to non-profit organizations.
As an individual, you can make personal monetary donations to organizations to support relief efforts. The Texas 4-H Foundation is collecting cash donations to support 4-H club and county programs in the hurricane zone. https://texas4hfoundation.org/give/
4-H clubs cannot donate cash to or fundraise for other non-profit organizations. Instead, your club can create a sustainable Service Learning Project to support disaster relief organizations.
With a Service Learning Project, you will participate in the development of community partnerships and share responsibility with community members. You will also take an active role in improving society and improving the quality of life in the community.
Use the Service Learning Toolkit and Project Planning Guide
Evaluate your plan to ensure it is High Service/High Learning using the Standards of Quality in Service Learning. This 10 question checklist will help you determine how to make this a positive learning experience that benefits the community at the same time./h2>/h2>/h2>/h2>
- Author: John Borba
This year, for the first time ever, a 4-H Western Heritage team from California attended the National 4-H Western Heritage Conference and Championship Shoot, held August 1 – 3, 2017 in historic Fort Benton, Montana. Seven 4-H members from Kern County and one from Santa Clara travelled to Fort Benton to participate in the program.
Experiencing Old West lifestyles and cultures
The 4-H Western Heritage Project combines a comprehensive study of the Old West with the fastest growing shooting sports discipline in the world – western action shooting. The purpose of this project is to provide an avenue for 4-H members and adult leaders to experience the lifestyles and cultures of the Old West from the period of around 1860-1900 through a living history approach to learning while instilling the concepts of firearms safety and personal responsibility. Members dress in Old West clothing, shoot replica firearms of the frontier period, and expand their knowledge of U.S. history. More information and a video of the event is available on their site, http://www.4-hwesternheritageproject.org/
Preparing for the event
California team results
Congratulations to the following 4-H members who placed at the event:
Junior Division - Girls Interview Skills
4th Place EmmaLee Lindley Kern County
Senior Division - Girls Interview Skills
3rd Place Christine Lindley Kern County
5th Place Hope Lindley Kern County
Senior Division – Boys Interview Skills
3rd Place Thomas Aquino Santa Clara County
Senior Division – Rimfire Shooting
4th Place Garrett Hawks Kern County
Senior Division – Historical Testing
1st Place Thomas Aquino Santa Clara County
Senior Division – Overall Top Hand
3rd Place Thomas Aquino Santa Clara County
5th Place Garrett Hawks Kern County
Join the California 4-H Western Heritage Team!
California is one of nine states across the country with an active 4-H Western Heritage program. If you are interested in joining this team, please contact John Borba, 4-H Youth Development Advisor, at email@example.com or (661) 868-6216.
- Author: Kate Lyn Sutherland
- Author: Suzanne Morikawa
Over 200 youth participants attended State Leadership Conference (SLC) on July 20-23 at UC Davis. The SLC Planning Committee came up with the theme, "DRIVE-Find your place on the map." The focus of the conference was on finding what is important to you, making a plan and getting there.
Alumni join the Opening Kickoff
The 4-H Foundation invited alumni and friends to an Alumni and Friends Nite Out just before the start of SLC. After an early dinner at a nearby restaurant, they joined the youth delegates at the Opening Kickoff. Socializing and networking between youth and alumni was a highlight for both sides!
Keynote Speaker: Houston Kraft
Houston gave a dynamic presentation on "Making Kindness Normal" to our young leaders. Houston is a professional speaker, leadership consultant, and kindness advocate who speaks to middle schools, high schools, colleges, and businesses across the country. He has spoken to nearly a half a million people nationwide at nearly 500 events and counting. He believes that real change comes through more than just motivation, so he has created tools like CharacterStrong and conversations like the Choose Love Movement to make sure that his work isn't just about good feelings or a positive message - it's about making real, practical, sustainable change. http://www.houstonkraft.com/
Covering topics ranging from Mindfulness to Bullying Prevention
Participants attended assemblies, workshops, and recreational events while networking with 4-H'ers from all across California. Workshops covered topics like mindfulness, robotics, bullying prevention and more. All of the workshops and activities were planned entirely by youth volunteers on the SLC Planning Team.
For more photos and to see video highlights of the event, see the SLC event page.
Planning for SLC in 2018 is starting!
- Contributor: Emily Stenzler
- Contributor: Casey, Elyjah and Sencio Madera
- Editor: Suzanne Morikawa
We are launching our monthly STEM Highlights with two stories about 4-H'ers doing STEM projects in their clubs. Emily in the North Stockton 4-H is starting up an Astronomy project, and Casey, Elyjah and Sencio in Madera are having fun with Junk Drawer Robotics!
Astronomy in North Stockton
Hi, My name is Emily Stenzler. I am 15 years old and currently the President of North Stockton 4-H. This year, I started a new project called Astronomy.
A few years ago, I participated in a contest with the local Stockton Astronomical Society (SAS). I was nominated by a teacher for this contest. I attended various lectures organized by SAS and I also attended many star parties where I learned about the sky. I was selected from many applications and won my own telescope. From here, my passion of Astronomy grew and I decided to start a North Stockton STEM project on Astronomy.
For our first meeting, I invited SAS to come to the school and set up telescopes. After our general meeting, members got to go outside and learn about our night sky. Since this was early in the year, it was pretty cool since potential members also participated and love it (and joined our group).
In May, I will be setting up my telescope, along with other SAS members, and North Stockton 4-H members will get to share in my passion of the night sky!
STEM in Kern County
We have been having a blast with Junk Drawer Robotics and the Power of Wind. We did a couple of training exercises with John Borba at the Kern County 4-H extension office before he set us free with supplies to show other kids. Kids are given a limited number of supplies and challenged to build an object that will perform a task. The best part is watching the kids figure it out and seeing how excited they get when they understand the challenge.
Our favorite project so far is the “Can-Can” robot. We were given a plastic cup, tape, rubber bands, markers, a little motor, a battery, and an eraser. We were told to build a robot that was able to draw on paper using only these items. When we finally figured out what the eraser was for, the robot came to life! Our robot vibrated all over the paper, drawing gloriously!
Taking everything we have learned to our club meetings and teaching others has been so challenging and yet so rewarding. We love STEM!
Casey, Elyjah and Sencio Madera
Are you doing STEM projects in your club? Share them with us for the monthly STEM spotlight post. Submit your story and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Author: Suzanne Morikawa
In honor of National Volunteer Week this week, we want to highlight two of our volunteers who have been recognized for their service to 4-H. Paulette Sauln from San Diego County has been named the Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer and Curtis Ullerich from Santa Clara County has been named the Volunteer of the Year for the Western Region.
Salute to Excellence Awards
Each year, state 4‑H programs nominate two outstanding individual volunteers through the 4‑H Salute to Excellence Awards, which recognizes 4-H volunteers who demonstrate exemplary service to 4-H.
Each Cooperative Extension Region (Northeast, South, North Central, West) names its own Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer and Volunteer of the Year. The regional honorees become nominees for the national award, and one candidate in each category will be named the national Honoree later this month.
Paulette Sauln, 2017 Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award, Western Region
The Outstanding Lifetime Volunteer Award is given to an individual who has spent 10 or more years as a 4‑H volunteer. Paulette Sauln has been a 4-H volunteer in California for 29 years. During that time she has touched the lives of many 4-H members, leaders, alumni and future 4-Hers.
Curtis Ullerich, 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award, Western Region
The Volunteer of the Year Award is given to an individual who has volunteered for 4‑H less than 10 years. Curtis has been a volunteer in California for two years, coming from Iowa where he was a 4-H youth and collegiate member. In the short time he has been with California 4-H, he has become an integral adult volunteer of 4-H through club, county, state and national activities.
Learn more about our honorees!
Both Paulette and Curtis have so many accomplishments, we will be highlighting them in separate posts this week. We want to share all the ways they have contributed to 4-H, which won't fit in just one blog post! Please join us in congratulating these two outstanding individuals and showing them appreciation for all they do for 4-H in California./h2>/h3>/h3>/h2>