4-Her’s helping hands to blanket Arkansas on Day of Service

LITTLE ROCK – Thousands of 4-Hers around the state won’t be taking the day off on Saturday, Oct. 6. Instead, they’ll be working in and around their communities, helping their neighbors as part of the first Arkansas 4-H One Day of Service.

“Every day, 4-H members around the state work to improve their communities,” said Jack Boles, a 4-H state faculty member for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture.

“However, Oct. 6 will be a special day – a time where on one day – all of the energy, creativity and citizenship of our combined membership will be working at the same time,” he said.

4-H is the youth development program of the University of Arkansas, provided through the Cooperative Extension Service. Among the projects:

• Town & Country 4-H club in Benton County will be coordinating a snack drive for The Samaritan Community Center Snack Packs. These snack packs are distributed to children in 87 public schools in Carroll, Madison, Benton and Washington counties.

• The Spring Hill 4-H Club will be making and setting up bird houses to go outside the windows of residents of the Bentonville Manor nursing home.

• The Bloomfield 4-H Club will be helping prepare for the Gentry Fall Festival by picking up trash, cleaning sidewalks, windows, mowing grass, planting flowers and decorating windows. The club will also sponsor a pumpkin painting booth for the public at the Oct. 14 festival.

• The Conway County 4-H clubs are performing a collective service to a community wide initiative that sends backpacks full of food home with children whose homes cannot afford groceries. County Extension Staff Chair Alicia Hugen said county 4-H members will work at the senior adult center in Morrilton where the backpacks are assembled, to lend a hand with cleaning or any other task needed that day.

• Pope County’s 4-H members are spending their day of service working for local food pantries. “With the economy as it is, people don’t give as much and there are more people in need,” said Pope County Extension Staff Chair Phil Sims. “We’re encouraging all our 4-H clubs to collect canned goods for Main Street Mission or the food pantry of their choice.”

• Izard County 4-H’ers will be raking, planting, and cleaning gutters for Izard County Head Start. With budget cuts and no funds for landscaping, the Head Start had been in need of a makeover. The fences have vines growing over them, and improper drainage causing the front of the yard to wash out every time it rains. M & M Landscaping & Nursery will be donating more than $1,000 in plants and landscaping materials for this project. Jeff McAnally, owner of M & M Landscaping and Nursery, will also lead the project along with 40 4-H’ers and volunteers.

For more information on 4-H, visit www.uaex.edu, kidsarus.org, or contact your local county agent.

The Cooperative Extension Service is part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture and offers its programs to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, gender, age, disability, marital or veteran status, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

Mary Hightower is an Extension Communications Specialist U of A Division of Agriculture.