Ever sit on Santa’s lap and ask for the latest toy? Or maybe you were more philosophical and asked for world peace? One of the great things about this time of year is things that don’t seem possible during the rest of the year are magically possible now. I have a friend who was a helper in Santa’s mailroom and answered letters from the children on behalf of Santa. The letters would pour in asking for toys, technology, and general stuff. Then there would be a letter asking for a coat, a job for a parent, or some other simple necessity we often take for granted. It would make you want to run out and be Santa just to make someone’s life a little better, a little easier.
That’s not just an “adult” reaction, and our 4-H members proved that again this year. At the annual 4-H Youth Achievement Night, more than 160 folks attended and, if they could, brought individual food items for the Backpack Buddies Program. These food items were donated to Communities in Schools and will be used as part of their program to feed school-age children who would otherwise go hungry. You see, children who do not have adequate food at home go to school unable to focus and unable to learn over the grumbling in their stomach. The Backpack Buddies Program ensures that youth who are going without food over the weekend at home have six meals to eat when they leave school on Friday. Imagine the child’s excitement when they pick up their backpack filled with a weekend’s worth of food just for them. It means more than having a better chance of growing up healthy, strong, and smart. For many of these youth, the backpacks are a sign that someone (or a whole lot of someones) cares about them. From the people who donate the food, to those who organize the program, and those who fill the backpacks, it is a team and community effort.
One of the great things about this program for our 4-H members is it allows our youth to give back to other youth right here in our own community. They are setting an example for all to follow. Our members are already taking care of each other and their community. By donating this food they are ensuring a better future for every child who lives here, not just a few. Can you imagine what they will accomplish when they get older?
I guess if Santa asked me what I was wishing for this year, it would be for us to follow the example of our 4-H members and start taking care of each other. Let’s support each other ,for you never know when a small gesture may change the world for someone and our community. Here’s to hoping all your holiday wishes come true.
For more information, please contact Shea Ann DeJarnette, Extension 4-H Agent with North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Robeson County Center, at 910-671-3276, by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit our website at https://robeson.ces.ncsu.edu/. North Carolina State University and North Carolina A&T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, veteran status, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation.