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.