4-H Club Community Service for Southern Illinois Honor Flight

April 2, 2018

The Texico Stars, a Jefferson County 4-H Club, made 100 drawstring backpacks for the Southern Illinois Honor Flight.  The bags will be given to veterans making the trip on April 24 to Washington, DC visiting the war memorials honoring their service and sacrifice.  The bags were presented to Southern Illinois Honor Flight volunteers, Ed Smith and Larry Maham at the Texico Stars 4-H Club meeting on Monday, March 19, 2018.

“4-H takes pride in honoring our community through service projects,” says Ramona Girtman, Jefferson County 4-H program coordinator. “Community service is at the core of our 4-H program”.  The idea to make drawstring bags came from something Mary Ann Dagg, Texico Stars Club Leader, saw on TV.  She brought the idea to the club members and they voted to take on the project.

It took the club a few meetings to complete, but the members sewed each bag and included a special note to the recipients thanking them for their service and wishing them a safe trip.  According to club president, Raquel Minor, “It was a great opportunity to give back to people who have served our country – even through a small gesture such as these bags.” She also explained that it was more than a community service project for the members, “it was also a chance to learn life skills.  I used an iron for the first time in the process of making the bags.”

The Texico Stars are one of ten 4-H clubs in Jefferson County.  In 4-H, members learn new skills like working together as a team, and making decisions.  Members “learn by doing,” leading activities while practicing skills they’ll need in school and careers.  Jefferson County 4-H offers a variety of ways for youth ages 8-18 to learn new skills through experiential learning opportunities; such as multi-project clubs, Special Interest Clubs, educational enrichment programs and STEM programming offered to schools and other youth-serving organizations.

Working in every county in Illinois, 4-H impacts the lives of 200,000 youth each year through sustained learning. Illinois 4-H empowers and prepares all Illinois youth for success by providing opportunities where they learn, practice and demonstrate skills needed for home, career and global citizenship.  University of Illinois Extension is the flagship outreach effort of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is based in the College of ACES. If you or your child is interested in joining 4-H, please contact Jefferson County 4-H Program Coordinator, Ramona Girtman at 618-242-0780.