"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."
While 4-H’ers from across the state can recite the 4-H pledge, club members in Cherokee County have brought life to the pledge in the wake of devastating floods in their area.
While at 4-H summer camp, Cherokee County 4-H President Clayton Wallace came up with the idea to raise $500 to help flood victims. The campers jumped on board, and within the week the group raised $692. An additional $550 was donated at the Cherokee County Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension office, for a total of $1,242 in cash, along with more than $500 of in-kind donations.
Carl Wallace, 4-H educator and county Extension director in the Cherokee County OSU Cooperative Extension office, said he is proud of the efforts club members put into this opportunity to help others.
“We had 107 kids participating in the summer camp, and they were excited about the challenge Clayton put out for them,” Carl said. “Because of their efforts, they got to put a pie in Clayton’s face. But even more than that, by giving to others, they learn to be compassionate for one another.”
Club members were supplied with a list of the most-needed items and used the donated money to purchase bananas, charcoal, deodorant, ibuprofen, towels, bug spray, box knives, shampoo, Neosporin, peanut butter, band-aids, sunscreen and other immediate essentials. The in-kind donations included cleaning supplies, bottled water and nonperishable food items. All of these items will help flood victims in Fort Gibson and Okay.
“It feels great helping other people. I’m sitting here, not really affected by the floods, but just a few miles down the road there are people who have lost everything,” Clayton said. “4-H is about helping others, doing our part to ‘make the best better' and creating great citizens and the leaders of tomorrow.”
Chloe Silka, also a member of Cherokee County 4-H, participated in the fundraiser as well.
“It’s really nice to know we can help people through some of the toughest times of their lives," says Silka. "These people have lost everything and we’re playing a small role in helping them get back to normal. I could never have organized a fundraiser like this on my own, so it just shows how 4-H brings people together for greater reasons. When people come together, so much can be accomplished that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.”
Carl said the flooding in the Fort Gibson area is beyond anything he has ever seen.
“I’ve never seen water even remotely close to the areas that were covered in 5 or 6 feet of water,” he said. “It’s crazy, but I’m glad my club members stepped up to help. I’m proud of all of them.”
To make monetary or in-kind donations, please drop them by the Extension office. Carl said he would make sure they get delivered to those who are still in need. The biggest needs are bug spray, hygiene items and cleaning supplies.
For more information about donations, contact Carl Wallace at 918-456-6163 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Cherokee County OSU Extension office is located at 908 S. College, Tahlequah.
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