- Author: Suzanne Morikawa
4-H is launching an annual True Leaders in Service initiative in honor of National Volunteer Appreciation Month. True Leaders in Service, a month-long community service activation, officially kicked-off the first day of April, and will culminate with the National 4-H Day of Service on Saturday, April 29.
Thousands of 4-H'ers will venture out into their communities throughout the month of April to do what 4-H'ers do best: lead in service to tackle community challenges and help meet the needs of others.
The first National 4-H Day of Service on April 29 will take place in every county across the country. 4-H members, adult volunteers and friends will help improve their communities by adopting a service project. These projects can be done as individuals, as an entire county 4-H program, or anything in between. No matter the project, this is a day that will make a difference!
California 4-H has a history of True Leaders in Service
California 4-H'ers do outstanding projects in their communities. We have had the Million Trees Project, started by a 4-H'er from San Mateo County. Originally a club project, it grew to an international campaign because of the sheer magnitude of numbers!
Elliot from San Joaquin County got involved in several other service-oriented organizations and started up Beautify Stockton, where he organized monthly clean-ups in different areas of his hometown in order to make it look better and help residents feel more proud of where they live. Unsung Hero: Elliott Stenzler; RecordNet.com
Incorporating service projects into other activities
As noted in our recent blog post, Health Grows in 4-H, 4-H'er Christian incorporated service projects to provide lunches for the homeless and smile dolls for children with cleft palates into the Southern Area Healthy Living Summit. Our 4-H'ers are good at finding ways to support the community in different ways!
Even the holiday projects, such as delivering pajamas and presents to children in the hospital, are making a difference in the community.
What to do next
We encourage all 4-H clubs, members and volunteers to plan a service project in April and register it on the National 4-H website at 4-H.org/true-leaders-in-service. Your project will be added to the national map to show how 4-H is supporting communities all across the nation. Go to our True Leaders in Service resource page for resources for planning and promoting your event - and don't forget to share it on social media! Use #TrueLeaders in your posts and tag California 4-H so we can share it too./h2>/span>/h4>/h4>/h4>/h2>
- Author: Suzanne Morikawa
- Author & Photographer: Christian Redman
4-H'ers throughout California are practicing and supporting healthy lifestyles in their communities. The Sparks Surveys taken by California 4-H youth show that more than 87% of 4-H'ers are learning about nutrition and making healthy choices. They are sharing their knowledge with their communities by organizing health fairs, hosting Color Me Green 5K Runs and doing service projects to support people in their communities.
Southern Area Healthy Living Summit
The Healthy Living Summit in the Southern Area was chaired by 4-H'er Christian Redman. This is the second year of the Summit, and Christian involved several 4-H clubs to support the event with interactive booths and activities.
Christian shares highlights of the Summit
The CA Southern Area had a very successful “Healthy Living Summit” with 50 plus participants.
4-H'ers danced, ran, sewed, did yoga, listened and snacked all afternoon.
Service to Others
We served others by making 100 lunch bags for the homeless and 25 smile dolls for children who have cleft lip and cleft palate.
Color Me Green 1K Run
The DSOC Super Kids 4-H Club enthusiastically participated and stole the show.