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4-H clubs focus on service during season of giving

Every November, I am overwhelmed with a feeling of gratefulness.

The month starts off with Veterans Day, a day where we all think about the heroes of our nation and give thanks for their sacrifice and their unwavering protection, every day of our lives. It then leads into two months of holidays with a focus on spending time with our loved ones, being grateful for all we have and giving to those around us.

Giving and community service are pillars of our 4-H program, and our 4-H members take them very seriously. This month our clubs are volunteering all over our community, making a positive difference in many ways.

The Weaselskin 4-H Club will volunteer at the Durango Food Bank, helping it organize and sort donations. Our Pioneer 4-H Club hosted a home-cooked breakfast for our local veterans. Ignacio Westerneers 4-H Club is adopting two families in need, ensuring they will have good winter clothing and will be able to celebrate Christmas with a meal and gifts.

The Florida Four Leaf 4-H Club will adopt a family as well and donate board games to Florida Mesa. Generations 4-H Club will host a blanket drive, make cookies for our local first responders and host a cleanup day a local church. Mt. Allison Go-Getters 4-H Club will host its annual Thanksgiving dinner for local senior citizens. The food is homemade, with love, by our 4-H’ers and their families.

As a countywide 4-H community service, we will host a blanket drive and food drive at the La Plata County Fairgrounds. The food will be donated to our local food banks in Durango, Bayfield and Ignacio. The homemade blankets will be given to Project Linus, a program that distributes blankets to youths “in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies or anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug.”

The purchased blankets will be donated to our community shelter, Southwest Safehouse and first responders to give to those in need. We will also host a Christmas card-making night Dec. 4, where 4-H members will be making cards for our local assisted-living homes.

I am so thankful for our La Plata County 4-H members, volunteers and parents and all they do for our community. I am so proud to be a part of this wonderful program that focuses so much on building our youths to be the best versions of themselves.

Enrollment for our 2021-22 4-H year is open now through April 1. Throughout this next year, we will continue our mission to help youths acquire knowledge, develop life skills and form attitudes that will enable them to become self-directing, productive members of society.

If you are interested in joining 4-H as a volunteer or member, contact me at the La Plata County Extension Office.

Angela Fountain is the La Plata County 4-H youth development agent. Reach her at angela.fountain@co.laplata.co.us or 382-6460.