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Redwood County 4-H'ers use their hands for larger service

Adult volunteer teaching 4-H youth to tie blankets

4-H proudly teaches youth the importance of using their hands for larger service!

Courtney, an 11th grader in Redwood County who has been a 4-H member for 12 years, along with fellow members of the Lamberton Leprechauns 4-H Club, recently participated in a Share the Spirit community service project, which was funded by a Helping Hands Grant from the Minnesota 4-H Foundation. This project taught them a variety of leadership skills while increasing their understanding of the importance of helping others in the midst of hard times.

19 youth and 7 adults volunteered in this project to create blankets for children and families in need. They made 18 fleece blankets and donated them to the local Share the Spirit program that helps community members across Redwood County share skills and resources during the winter holiday season.

Kerry Netzke, co-club leader and adult mentor for the Share the Spirit project described it this way. "We [as adults] wanted to engage our youth in every step of this community service experience. They applied for funding, purchased the materials, constructed and donated the blankets, and built public awareness throughout the county."

Courtney and her fellow 4-H club members hope that other clubs and community groups will be inspired by their donation to get involved in helping their neighbors, during the annual Share the Spirit campaign and whenever the need arises.
4-H youth displaying hand-made blankets

"It was an especially great opportunity for me to learn about collaboration as we coordinated the project and shared the service experience with others," said Courtney. "We created a public display that encouraged county fair-goers to make similar donations and wrote newspaper articles too."

Courtney is just one of over 400 youth in Redwood County who are learning about community service from 4-H. You can be a part of ensuring that financial support continues to remain strong for these types of projects in Redwood County and across our state. Please join the many other alumni and friends of 4-H who give their time and money in support of Minnesota 4-H programs. A gift today to the Minnesota 4-H Foundation will help youth like Courtney to learn, lead, and succeed.

Delivering blankets to Share the Spirit coordinator
The Helping Hands Grant program funds worthy projects that Minnesota youth want, adults are ready to support and that both are willing to expend time and energy in achieving. Priority is given to community service projects that are led by Minnesota 4-H youth. To learn how you can help provide a Helping Hands Grant to Minnesota 4-H youth, please contact the Minnesota 4-H Foundation staff ( / 612-624-7971).

by Erin Kelly-Collins
County Development Liaison / Alumni Coordinator
Minnesota 4-H Foundation

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