Written by Sonoma  4-H Youth

Over the Holiday Season many 4-H Clubs are completing service projects to give back to the community. Read below about a few clubs who shared about their community Service.

Sequoia 4-H

Sequoia 4-H Club has been sewing and stuffing heart-shaped pillows for distribution to cardiac surgical patients at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital. After heart surgery, patients need support over their chest for weeks afterward to safely heal from such a large surgical procedure. The youth picked out fabrics with many different styles including farm animals, calming patterns, historical popular bands and other fun prints to brighten the day of patients in need and are so excited to share them!! Their hope is to put a smile in the heart of each recipient on their journey after surgery.

Gold Ridge 4-H 

Gold Ridge 4-H values community service and giving back to our community. We incorporate community service into our general meetings, where we have a table set up with service projects. This year we have started hundreds of Starcross wreaths and have written dozens of holiday cards for troops. Additionally, we are looking forward to a shift at the Redwood Food Bank which we have planned for January.

Canfield 4-H

Canfield 4-H is the oldest operating club in Sonoma County and no matter how many members it has had over the decades, community service has been at its core. This year we had the unique honor of helping a local blueberry farm, Duckworth Family Farm, get back in shape to open for the public, after being on hold for several years with the pandemic. The members reported back at the club meeting with fascinating facts, and generational tips on how to organically keep away prey, and grow the most scrumptious blueberries around. Canfield 4-H is also on its third year of collecting aluminum can tabs for the Ronald McDonald house county fundraiser

 Warm Springs 4-H

In the months of November and December, the Warm Springs club focuses our community service efforts on food insecurity in our community. We had several of our club members assisted with gleaning olives for Farm to Pantry. The olives were milled into oil and the oil will be sold to benefit the Farm to Pantry organization.

We collected canned goods for our neighbors in need and delivered the items to Redwood Empire Food Bank. We collected 247 pounds of food at our food drive. We also had a large group volunteer to assist with a warehouse sorting shift at the Redwood Empire Food Bank. We repackaged close to 10,000 pounds of potatoes.”

Independence 4-H

Our September service activity benefited the Living Room in Santa Rosa. We have worked with the Living Room for a few years, doing different projects. They are nice people who do good things! This time we collected art supplies and fun small toys to put in 24 donated supply boxes for kids to use while their parents are getting services at the shelter. The Living Room helps women and their children with housing, clothes, food and finding work.

October’s community service was for the Redwood Empire Food Bank. Independence 4-H supports the REFB every year. It is another really cool local organization. What the food bank does to help the community is mostly giving healthy meals and boxes of food to the population in need. We brought food donations to our general meeting and then our club volunteered to work a shift at the Food Bank. Independence 4-H donated 268 lbs. of food and $200. We bagged over 3000 lbs of apples for food boxes (that’s 1.5 tons!).

In November we had two service activities. Every year the club participates in the county wide help to Starcross by putting twist-ties on their wreath flyers. This is a small activity that 4-H does to help out Starcross with their wreath sales. The Starcross community sells these wreaths every holiday season to help fund their care for children with serious health problems. The second activity has to do with Thanksgiving and gratitude. We will have notes available at the meeting for members to write a thank you note to someone in their communities (home, school, sport, club, neighborhood, city) who did something good that they appreciate. Then each person will deliver their note.

For December, in partnership with the Sebastopol Fire Department we are collecting gift items or cards for local tweens/teens age 10-16, who’ve been specifically identified as in need by community members. The SFD says that this is the age group that they most need contributions for. Also…Because it was such a huge success and so much fun and because our party is not on the normal meeting date, we have another group volunteer night scheduled at REFB!

Golden Hills 4-H

Fall is the season of giving and a great time to get involved in community services in our town. In November, Golden Hills members are working with North Bay Animal Services to collect items requested for the animals living on site. Also in November we have a canned food collection for Una Vida, an organization that helps feed and clothe people in need here in Petaluma. Members help at the distribution site to pass out bags of groceries. In December Golden Hills families hold a bake sale at Larsen’s Tree Farm and use some of the money raised to buy Christmas gifts for a family in need in our community. Giving back and getting involved feels great!