Service to others has always been an important part of the 4-H club program. One part of the 4-H pledge states, “I pledge my hands to larger service.” An entire section of the 4-H Summary Record is dedicated to the documentation of community service done by each 4-H member.
4-H groups often conduct community service projects in local communities where they meet. These projects include community beautification, collecting donations for food pantries, raising money for charities, volunteering in nursing homes and donating needed items to hospice and hospitals, to name just a few.
In an effort to collect information about what 4-H clubs are doing across the Commonwealth we conduct an annual statewide community service project. Called "Four Seasons of Giving", groups can conduct community service outreach in one, two, three or all four seasons of the year. This year we are offering incentives to clubs that participate and report including 4-H pennants, record book covers, 4-H cinch bags/tote bags and 4-H approved curriculum. We ask all 4-H groups to participate; by working together we can really make a difference! Read the details about our current 2019-2020 State Community Service Project.
Club leaders will receive an email at the end of each season when it is time to report their results. Thanks in advance for contributing to this statewide effort!
These curriculum lessons delve into topics relative to the annual statewide food drive and deal with issues such as food insecurity, homelessness, food collection, and also touch on consumerism.
While they can be used in whatever order you choose, you may like to begin with What’s the Truth About Hunger?” to get ideas and conversation started and to better understand why Massachusetts 4-H holds an annual food drive. Then, perhaps, the club should decide if they’d like to visit a soup kitchen or a food pantry, or possibly discuss how food is dated, or maybe they want to learn more about homelessness next. Whatever they choose, the lessons can be modified for different size groups and various ages. These lessons can be used individually or as a collection.
Materials that are associated with the lessons can be borrowed from your local 4-H office, such as the game needed for the lesson “Feast or Famine”.
This curriculum is meant to offer support for the 4-H Food Drive, but there are many other non-profits that deal with these topics exclusively, some of which are referenced in the lessons. Please take some time to visit their websites and learn more about their outstanding work.
A Trip to a Soup Kitchen
Be Hunger Aware!
Feast or Famine Activity
Homelessness - a personal look
Name That Denim
The dating game
What is a food pantry
What's the Truth about Hunger
Community Service Ideas
The following seasonal list of project suggestions is designed only to stimulate ideas. There are an infinite number of projects that clubs can do that will make community impact, while increasing members' leadership skills, citizenship and self-efficacy. Please brainstorm with your club or leaders and start on a community service project today!