4-H Publications and Projects WSU Extension

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4-H Clubs Give Back

Dog 4-H Members Raise Money for Emergency Response Volunteers

Loyal Companions 4-H Club recently demonstrated how the hands-on WSU 4-H Youth Development Program brings together multiple generations of people who share common-interests, to strengthen their communities. This past month the dog club’s tenth annual Dogs Walking 4 Dogs event made over $800 for the non-profit, volunteer-based King County Search Dogs organization, which is on-call 24-hours a day to support the King County Sheriff’s Special Operations Unit at no cost to the county. 

Incorporated in 1996, the King County Search Dogs (KCSD) organization conducts canine tracking/trailing and air scent and specialty searches to find and help people in distress and to aid law enforcement with evidence searches. KCSD assistance can even be requested for Washington State missions via the State Emergency Management Division.

All KCSD handlers are volunteers who provide their own dogs, train several times a month, and pay all their own related expenses for feeding, veterinary care, travel, and purchasing needed equipment. To learn more about or help King County Search Dogs visit www.kcsearchdogs.org.

Loyal Companions 4-H Club and the King County Search Dogs group have developed a unique relationship in which the 4-H kids have raised almost $15,000 since 2003 for the KCSD organization and the KCSD volunteers and dogs have become wonderful role models for the 4-H youth. Previously, KCSD purchased a boat they named “Loyal Companion” with some of the money that the 4-H club raised to help conduct water searches.

Each year the Dogs Walking 4 Dogs event has brought King County 4-H members and community members to the Cedar River Trail in Renton for the walk and canine search team demonstrations. 

“It has been wonderful for the kids to see training techniques, similar to methods they practice in 4-H with their family dogs, being used to train dogs for search and rescue maneuvers,” said Marilyn Johnson, a 4-H parent. She went on to say, “Unfortunately, this may be the last year for 4-H in King County and this marvelous event due to county budget cuts.”

Under the guidance of trained adult volunteers and older, experienced 4-H members, the WSU 4-H Youth Development Program’s “learning-by-doing” model teaches sportsmanship, responsibility, self-reliance, and patience. For more information about 4-H and the many different projects, including robotics, archery, performance arts, animal and plant science, cooking, and sewing, that are offered, visit 4h.wsu.edu.

4-H Collects over 280,000 Pennies to Help Member in Need

During the month of February 2012, Douglas and Chelan County 4-H clubs saved their pennies to help one of their members with medical expenses. On January 15, Clayton, a freshman at Chelan High School, was seriously burned in a bonfire accident. He has been a 4-H member for 11 years, working in the poultry, goat, rabbit, and swine projects.

He underwent treatment in Seattle after the accident and his family incurred many expenses along the way. Clayton’s 4-H “family” thought they could help with those expenses, and so began collecting pennies from members, their friends, and families. Thanks to the generosity of the Douglas and Chelan County 4-H Leaders’ Councils, the club that collected the most pennies would get an all-expenses-paid pizza party.

By the end of February, the clubs had collected a whopping $2837.79!! Now, that’s a lot of pennies. The pennies rolled into the WSU Extension office, carried in bags, jars, and small hands. Cashmere Valley Bank counted them up, but had to wait until less busy times at the bank because of the volume of pennies to deal with.

The Wenatchee Heights 4-H Club won the pizza party, having collected $1,071.47! Details about each club’s contribution are available on the 4-H web page: http://county.wsu.edu/ chelan-douglas/; click on “4-H and Youth Development.”

The proceeds have been presented to Clayton’s family and Clayton is home and recovering quickly. What an incredible blessing and outpouring of support!

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WSU Extension State 4-H Office, P.O. Box 646248, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164-6248 USA