20 Oct How a group of youth initiated positive change in their community.
The Florida 4-H Community Pride Grant inspires 4-H members to develop a love for their communities and those around them. As a part of the 4-H District XIII Council, this is exactly what the Pride Grant did for me.
Every year, our Council submits a proposal for the Community Pride Grant as a way to initiate a positive change in our community. Last year, our goal was to cater to the needs of low income, unwed moms and their babies. With this in mind, we hoped to host a one-time outreach event for disadvantaged, expectant mothers who were experiencing a crisis pregnancy. With this project, we wanted to show love to these moms and let them know that they are valued in the community. This project coincided with the Florida 4-H State Project, “Clothing the World.”
The baby shower, called “A Celebration of Life,” featured cake and baby themed games. Thanks to the partnership of community organizations and personal donations, we presented each mom with a large basketful of baby essentials. The baskets were filled with items including clothing, diapers, wipes, baby toys, bottles, baby formula, and baby toiletries; each basket priced around $150.00. Along with the baby essentials, each mom received one large baby item such as a stroller, baby bouncer, or crib.
It was amazing to see the sympathy for this project by others in the community. Many people found an emotional connection with the project and donated what they could for the cause. Some as little as a simple onesie, others a large baby stroller. Outstanding business partnerships combined with the overwhelming community support and the Pride Grant funds, equipped our District to benefit these mothers in a profound way.
The impact of “A Celebration of Life,” was manifested throughout the baby shower. For instance, I got to bring a large diaper-changing table to one of the mothers. When I set down the large item beside her, she started to cry. Between the smiles and the tear, she whispered, “This is exactly what I needed. Thank you” The gratitude of the moms was heartfelt by all 4-H volunteers who attended the baby shower.
This project not only had a positive impact on the baby shower participants, but also on the 4-H members that worked on the project. During the planning process, members learned how to organize an event, approach businesses for partnership, budgeting, and goal-setting. But most of all, District XIII members learned the importance of being proactive in their communities.
Overall, through the Florida 4-H Community Pride Grant, 10 moms were able to look into the future with certainty, knowing that their soon-to-be children would have a stable and bright start to life.
Article submitted by Eva Ducanis from Broward County