During November, there were many daily facebook posts from individuals sharing what they were thankful for in their lives I was prompted to reflect on things that I was thankful for in 4-H in Catawba County.
I am thankful for the many adults that serve as 4-H volunteer club leaders. We could not even offer 4-H clubs without these individuals. They make time in their busy schedule to plan club meetings, provide positive encouragement and mentoring to children in their club, and often lend a hand with special 4-H events and classes. I am thankful for the chance to work with a variety of individuals who have served as volunteers and enriched my own life. While one may think about what volunteers give, it’s exciting to also see when adults have personally grown and benefited from 4-H. Through volunteering, adults have discovered friendships, confidence, and developed job skills and interests that turned into college majors and new careers. I am thankful when adult volunteers, as well as youth, can grow through 4-H.
One feature of 4-H in Catawba County is the scholarship program, started more than 30 years ago by club leaders, with a vision of providing financial support to help 4-H members with the cost of attending out-of-county camps and trips. Scholarship funds in the form of “clover bucks” are awarded to youth that participate in certain life skill building activities, like presentations and project work. Children can cash-in their clover bucks to pay for a portion of 4-H activity costs. 4-H’ers often use clover bucks for trips like Teen Retreat, Camp, NC 4-H Congress or even Summer Fun classes. We are also able to award extra scholarship dollars to help with some of the more costly 4-H trips. This year, these scholarship dollars enabled teens to attend Citizenship Focus and 4-H Congress and pay only half of the actual cost. These scholarship dollars can make the difference in whether or not a deserving child is able to attend. I am thankful we are able to continue the scholarship program established many years ago to provide youth opportunities to participate in 4-H beyond the county level.
The Nolley 4-H Endowment is another wonderful part of 4-H in Catawba County. The endowment was established ten years ago by Edwin and Jean Nolley and interest from the fund supports different aspects of 4-H programming. I am thankful that while 4-H programs may change, the Nolley Foundation will be an on-going resource to help grow future leaders through Catawba County 4-H. As we close-out 2017, consider a year-end donation to benefit 4-H and youth by making a tax-deductible donation to the Nolley 4-H Endowment. Contact Donna Mull, 4-H Agent, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-465-8240 for more information about contributing to the Nolley Endowment fund.