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 at the drop of a hat, club members in Cherokee County have been living it and putting it to work in the wake of devastating flooding in their area.
While at 4-H summer camp recently, Cherokee County 4-H president Clayton Wallace came up with the idea of a challenge to raise $500 to help flooding victims in the area. The campers all jumped on board, and within the week at camp, the group raised $692. An additional $550 was dropped off at the Cherokee County Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension office, for a total of $1,242 in cash, along with more than $500 worth 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 Wallace 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.”
The club members were supplied with a list of the most-needed items and they 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 flooding victims in Fort Gibson, Oklahoma and Okay, Oklahoma.
“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 Wallace 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 is a 4-H’er in Cherokee County who helped raise money for those affected by the floods.
“It’s really nice to know that we can help people through some of the toughest times of their lives. 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 Wallace 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.”
If there are people who still want to make monetary or in-kind donations, please drop them by the Extension office. Carl Wallace said he would make sure they get delivered to those who still are in need. The biggest needs currently 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, Oklahoma.