Do good. That phrase is getting a lot of use today. It’s probably second only to "Be kind." Quite frankly, I don’t think these two phrases are anything new. The words come to life every year in small towns across the country, often driven by our youth.
Case in point, Warren County 4-H member Nicole Benne delivered food to the Agape Food Pantry in Warrenton, Mo., during the 2020 4-H Feeding Missouri food drive. The pantry serves about 90 families per month and saw about a 30% increase in those who needed its service because of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to University of Missouri Extension.
In Perry County, 4-H'er Max Asselmeier donated to his local food pantry for the statewide 4-H food drive supporting 4-H Feeding Missouri and Drive to Feed Kids. Both Benne and Asselmeier were part of the 1,600 Missouri 4-H clubs and groups whose goal was to raise 500,000 meals for 2021.
Kind beyond your club
Then there is Chloe Beal, who worked with her Boone County 4-H Club to make blankets for children who are ill or in need. It was part of Project Linus, a national nonprofit that arranges the collection and distribution of the blankets.
Beal did not let COVID-19 stop her. If members couldn’t attend the blanket-making workshop in person, she arranged for supplies to be delivered to their homes. For her efforts, the club donated 33 blankets.
To the east in St. Charles County, Kate and Libby Bello made seven blankets with their club, the Twin Rivers 4-H Club. The girls made five more blankets on their own and collected another four blankets from other 4-H members and volunteers for a total of 16 blankets.
Statewide, 50 4-H’ers from 19 Missouri counties donated 72 handmade blankets for Project Linus. Now that epitomizes Be Kind, Do Good.
Care starts at home
Still, it doesn’t stop there. I think of all those kids who are out in the barn in the cold of winter just to care for their livestock, like my nieces and nephews.
They are putting on coveralls and boots, walking through snow, to get to the barn to help an ewe with a difficult birth. It doesn’t matter if it is early-morning hours or late into the evening, they are there. And that is on top of the daily feeding, watering and haying.
This is not just a short-term project; this is a long-term commitment. These kids are doing good every day on the farm by caring for their animals. And that brings me to you, the parents.
Well done. Stand tall. This next generation of young people who came from farms and ranches learned by example. They saw their parents live a life of Be Kind, Do Good.
Every time you put on those snow boots, sicker than a dog, to tend to the livestock; the days you drove the tractor over to the neighbors to clean snow off their driveway; when you volunteered to take your kid’s basketball team for pizza — in all those ways, you modeled the Be Kind, Do Good movement. Don’t stop now. Keep after it. The only way to grow a movement is to keep spreading it in your small towns, and eventually, the world takes notice.
To see our farm kids being kind and doing good, click through the slideshow.