A dear friend and mentor passed away recently, and the news is still ringing in my head. This woman was many things to a million different people, and all of them good. She was an amazing mother, grandmother, and wife. She was loving and kind, smart and capable. There simply aren’t words to properly express how deeply we will feel the loss of this wonderful woman.
My friend is the inspiration for this post, and it feels fitting to remember her this way because of the impact she had on our community. One of the things my friend was best known for was her role in our county 4-H program. She has mentored probably thousands of youth throughout her 41 years of service, and served in nearly every single commitee there was. Her dedication never wavered, even through the fair which ended only a few weeks ago.
For those of you reading this who are or ever were involved in 4-H, you understand the amazing program it is. I myself am a 10 year alum, and I feel it has had more impact on me than any other activity I have ever done. For those of you not familiar with it, let me introduce you.
I pledge my head to clearer thinking, my heart to greater loyalty, my hands to larger service, and my health to better living for my club, my community, my country, and my world.
That, my readers, is the 4-H pledge, and it truly is what 4-H stands for. We said that pledge, along with the Pledge of Allegiance, before every meeting to remind each of us why we were there.
Rural kids chose from dozens of projects each year, and learn the skills involved in each of their projects. Livestock projects include pigs, chickens, rabbits, beef or dairy cattle, horses, sheep, and goats. Others include gift wrapping, cake decorating, photography, electric, shooting sports, baking, sewing, and many more. A youngster chooses their projects early in the year and works hard to learn all about them. By the time fair comes around, the kids have produced something in each project to be proud of, and eagerly await showing it off to the judges.
The life lessons a child learns are countless. Responsibility, leadership, community service, teamwork, the list goes on and on. I am forever grateful for being a part of that program.
I wil always remember a wonderful woman who helped make it all possible for so many years. Goodbye Grandma Mabel. You made a great impact on the world around you, and we will miss you. Your legacy lives on in every 4-H’er who had the priveledge of meeting you. You gave us so much more than you probably ever realized.
Please consider looking up your local 4-H club and becoming part of something amazing. You can find it on Facebook, Twitter, or 4-H.org.