Utah County 4-H Ambassadors complete service project for refugees
During the holiday season, people often look for ways to serve others. In that spirit, Utah
County 4-H Teen Ambassadors recently organized a service project to help refugees in their area.
Utah County 4-H Teen Ambassadors are youth in grades 9-12 who are selected to represent Utah County 4-H. They develop and use leadership skills to provide programs and service to the Utah County 4-H Program. Ambassadors for 2016- 2017 are Joshua Boothe of American Fork, Jerod Boley of Saratoga Springs, Autumn Olsen of Springville, and Angelica Coca, Gabriela Coca, Ann Elgaaen and Jane Smith of Provo.
The Ambassadors, along with their adult advisors, brainstormed many different service project ideas, but they all knew they wanted to do something to help the refugee community during the winter and holiday season. The teens discussed ways about the service project via social media to reach the most people and devised the and in its monthly newsletter. Many Holiday Stocking Service Project. Ambassadors 4-H clubs spent time sewing stockings or had roles in the project including bags to hold the collected donations that deciding on the stocking pattern, sending came from individuals and businesses the pattern to the members of 4-H clubs from throughout Utah County, from Eagle and writing letters to local businesses Mountain to Highland to Santaquin. asking for donations. All Ambassadors On Dec. 6, the teens set up an assembly approached businesses and people for donations. line for the stockings and hoped people The Ambassadors worked with would show up. People came from the Utah Refugee Connection to help distribute all over Utah County bringing stockings donated items because the organization and other items, and more than 118 volunteers serves 70 percent of all refugees in – adults, youth and even toddlers Utah. – showed up to help stuff the stockings.
Utah County 4-H contacted members When it was all done, there were 2,284 items donated and 351 stockings. More than 200 volunteer hours were invested in the service project.
Among the items donated were 418 toothbrushes and toothpaste, 423 winter hats, 124 pairs of gloves, 200 dental floss packages, 272 small toys, 148 pencils, 36 blankets (including 32 handmade afghans), 84 deodorants and 23 jars of Play- Doh.
Utah County 4-H was able to purchase 100 new winter coats of all sizes through grant funds. These coats and all of the stockings went to refugee children and adults.
4-H clubs from throughout Utah County helped fill stockings for refugees in Utah during the holiday season.