BALLSTON SPA —Saratoga County 4-H, the Youth Development Branch of Cornell Cooperative Extension, has always had a focus on community service, and 2020 hasn’t changed that. In fact, it has helped bring 4-H’s devotion to the community and the people who live here to the forefront.
One of the more concerted community service efforts of Saratoga County 4-H in the fall and winter months is the “4-H Holiday Mitten Tree” which partners with area libraries and community centers distribute winter weather clothing including gloves, hats and scarves to members of our community in need. Collected items are placed on the Mitten Tree, this year at the Saratoga Springs Public Library. Items are also donated to local organizations including the Saratoga County EOC and Salvation Army.
Members of Saratoga County 4-H Teen Council recently participated in a new community service opportunity. Working with a local non-profit, #HicksStrong of Clifton Park, 4-H Teen members painted “Hug Mugs” which are distributed to active duty military members and veterans as a way to show appreciation and support for their service. #HicksStrong also connects members of the military and veterans to mental health services. More information about #HicksStrong can be found at hicksstrong.og.
Part of the 4-H Pledge is for members and volunteers to dedicate their “…hands to larger service.” 4-H members in Saratoga County go above and beyond to stay true to this pledge. If 2020 has taught us anything it is that we are all members of a larger community, and it is our responsibility to help care for members of this community when they are in need. The lessons learned by 4-H youth through community service will carry on into their adult lives, and help to reach 4-H’s goal of helping members become “competent, caring and contributing members of society.”
4-H Youth Development actively involves youth in opportunities that help them learn to lead, build their communities, connect with Cornell University, and connect with each other. For more information about 4-H Youth Development of Saratoga County visit www.ccesaratoga.org.