MANHATTAN, Kan. – Kansas 4-H members and volunteers will dot the state Oct. 10-11 when the seventh annual 48 Hours of 4-H community service takes place in nearly half of the state’s counties.
Among about 50 projects planned, the Willis All-Stars 4-H Club in Brown County will collect pet food and other items for the local humane society; 4-Hers in Clay County will clean and paint the county fairgrounds; the Gem 4-H Club in Thomas County will help the City of Colby check and prepare holidays lights that will be hung in downtown; and the Leib 4-H Club in the Wildcat District will clean a community garden and prepare it for next year.
“4-Hers care about their communities and have always provided community service,” said Beth Hinshaw, the southeast area 4-H youth development specialist for K-State Research and Extension, who coordinates the annual community service project.
Hinshaw noted that 4-H members, families and volunteers have a 48-hour period this weekend to complete a service project of their choosing. The length of time varies; the primary hope is that they can do something that benefits their community during the weekend.
“This gives Kansas 4-H an opportunity to focus on community service during these two days,” Hinshaw said. “We know that a lot of service happens the rest of the year, but this is an opportunity to highlight it over a full weekend.”
To keep track of activities related to 48 Hours of 4-H, look for the hashtag, #484H, on social media.
The event caps off the National 4-H Week celebration taking place across the country. According to the National 4-H Council, there are more than 6.5 million 4-H members – ages five to 19 – across the country, touching every county and parish in the United States through land-grant universities and local extension offices.
In Kansas, more than 70,000 youth participate in 4-H programs each year. The Kansas 4-H office also reports that more than 6,000 adults volunteer time to teach life skills and serve as mentors.
“In 4-H, we believe that every child should have an opportunity to succeed and thrive,” said Amy Sollock, the southwest area 4-H youth development specialist. “And we believe that 4-H can give kids the things they need to do just that.”
Sollock, who is helping to coordinate the week’s activities in Kansas, added that National 4-H Week will pivot on the social media hashtag, #Opportunity4All.
“We think that because 4-H is in every community across the nation and Kansas, we can reach every child and make an impact on them through 4-H,” Sollock said. “And when we do, that’s one more chance for them to close the opportunity gap.”
More information about National 4-H Week is available online from the National 4-H Council.
Information about events in Kansas – including 48 Hours of 4-H Community Service – is available from the Kansas 4-H Youth Development office. Sollock said updates and more content also will be available on the Kansas 4-H Facebook page.
You can also contact your local K-State Research and Extension agent for more information about the state’s 4-H program or National 4-H Week.