Philanthropic Friday: Supporting 4-H
Ever have something from your childhood that sticks with you like glue? I’m not talking about daily chores, school lessons or childhood rules but rather an involvement that had (and has) a true impact on your life. I spent years playing hardball and softball and still carry those lessons, but one glimpse of a four leaf clover and I catch myself reciting the following. “I pledge my head to clearer thinking, My heart to greater loyalty, My hands to larger service and my health to better living. For my club, my community, my country and my world.”
If you’ve been exposed to this motto, you know right away that it’s the lifeblood of 4-H. I don’t recall how many years we participated in the club, but what few we did had a huge impact on me. Through 4-H, I discovered that the fair isn’t just a place for carnival rides, funnel cakes and seeing farm animals up close. There’s so much more to it.
We lived on 10 acres so we were able to raise chickens and rabbits, but certainly no livestock like the farm families did. Well, we could, but didn’t since farming is a very time-intensive, demanding job. The chickens and rabbits were an extension of the garden and mostly a source of food. But I was able to show my rabbit at the fair. I raised her and took care of her and even would crawl into her hutch when I needed someone to talk to that I knew would listen. By no means was she show-quality, but that didn’t matter. I still treated her like she was. Prepared her for show like she would win the grand prize. Each member of the club could choose what to enter in the fair. I don’t remember what all I entered, maybe something I cross-stitched or a recipe book filled with a mix of hand-written recipes and ones I found in the newspaper. I still have that cookbook and reminisce whenever I look at it.
Through 4-H, I learned about responsibility, preparation and presentation. Members today have many more options for creating quality presentations and have experience through school. But 4-H allows them to put those skills to practice when they are being interviewed or judged.
4-H members don’t just show up at the fair with livestock or project in hand. The days preceding the fair involve a lot of last-minute preparation to finalize what they’ve worked on for months, weeks or even years. 4-H teaches how to present yourself and even speak to various sized groups.
And sometimes, all the hard work pays off with a ribbon. Sometimes the compensation is in experience and life-long memories. No matter what, the club members rally around each other, help and support one another even when they are competing against each other. That’s why I’m so happy when I hear that corporations like U.S. Cellular invest in their communities through programs like 4-H and Boys & Girls Club of America. It’s a commitment to the community and education!
Since 2009, U.S. Cellular has contributed more than $8.35 million to local educational programs. This year, they’ve announced a commitment to give $1.3 million to Boys & Girls Clubs of America and National 4-H Council. As part of U.S. Cellular’s Month of Giving and community involvement, associates are participating in their first-ever 4K for 4-H which was created to support National 4-H Council’s Grow True Leader’s campaign. U.S. Cellular associates are also supporting local Boys & Girls clubs by participating in various volunteer activities.
You may recall me previously sharing about U.S. Cellular’s commitment to STEM education. This is the second year that U.S. Cellular is funding Boys & Girls and 4-H Clubs with STEM activities for camps and other educational enrichment programs. While April is their targeted volunteer month, U.S. Cellular associates volunteer all year long to support various.
So if you ever wonder why a company decides to support an organization that you aren’t familiar with or think is too small, be sure to learn more about what the club or organization actually does. You might be surprised.
What is your favorite part of going to the fair?
23 thoughts on “Philanthropic Friday: Supporting 4-H”
There were no 4 H clubs where I grew up–and the fairs which would have had them were quite far from where we lived. I do agree it would have been a wonderful experience for me as I love all animals. I think there might have been boys and girls clubs but I was a Brownie–then a Girl Scout. I am very happy that corporations are helping these clubs reach and teach more and more children.
I LOVE seeing the 4H animals (and competitions) when we go to the fair! I was never involved in 4H myself, but I’ve seen how it molds kids into some pretty awesome human beings!
I love the values that are promoted through this initiative. It’s a great way to teach our young people to be compassionate and have empathy.
I used to go to all the 4-H fairs as a kid! I sometimes showed horses, and sometimes just went to enjoy. It’s a wonderful experience for children.
I never did 4-H as a kid but they are the highlight of the summer fair every year. We make it a point to support a local farm where we buy produce and eggs as well as visit the animals. One of the kids also does equine therapy and some weeks chooses to do barn work with the animals over riding! It is so much fun!
4-H is such a great program. We just help a local run to support ours. It was a blast.
That’s awesome, Rebecca. Was it the 4K for 4-H run?
I remember seeing a lot about 4-H when I was younger since we lived in a pretty rural area, but it was never something I participated in. I always loved visiting our local fair(s), though, and seeing all the animals. Such a great organization!
I don’t have a fair near me. I know it sounds odd. But I can relate certain childhood moments impact your life. My high required service for graduation. Every Friday we volunteered instead of schooling. We probably learned more giving of ourselves than with our heads in books.
This is great to learn. I always enjoy the 4H exhibits at the San Diego County Fair.
4-H has been around forever it seems! They really seem to offer great skills and values to the students who participate. Always great to see what they are up to!
It truly is a wonderful program. I grew up in a heavily agricultural area so 4-H was a big part of the county fair.
Truthfully, I didn’t know a lot about 4-H before. It is such a good program for kids and families!
There are some things that take you right back to childhood. My cousins all did 4-H, so you took me back to that… 🙂
I went to a city school and we didn’t have 4-H club. But I do think that 4-H is very important. It teaches so much responsibly, which I think is needed now.
What a wonderful experience. I didn’t participate in any 4-Program growing up. However, when I used to work at a non-profit organization for youth, programs like this are SO beneficial in not only educating youth but giving them a positive outlet. Thank you for sharing!!
I was never in 4-H but I went to a high school that had a lot of farming families so we supported 4H a lot. I always loved learning about the practices. a great program to support
I was in 4H and truly valued my time, I also did not have large livestock but we did show bunnies and it was so valueable
Now this brings back a ton of memories…I have been a city slicker for so long I forgot all about the fairs!
So much fun… **wistful sigh**