AZ 4-H Cares
True Leaders in Action 2020
As people around the world face challenging times with the developments of COVID-19, AZ 4-H is looking at how we can use our voice to support our youth and communities. AZ 4-H is launching a movement called #AZ4HCares in association with #TrueLeadersinService to inspire youth to think about what they can do to support their club, community, country, and world. We hope that you will join us in service during the month of April.
During this time its important to realize that each AZ 4-H Family is impacted in unique ways and have individual needs. We encourage you to reach out to your club networks and check on each other knowing that the 4-H family can be an essential source of care and compassion. Likewise, we hope that the culture of 4-H encourages those in need to ask for help. The help may be as simple as covering some barn chores for a clubmate who has type 1 diabetes. It may be organizing a food delivery to a family in need. Whatever the help, reach out and reach up to keep the AZ 4-H family strong.
For over 100 years AZ 4-H has been a source of service and care for our communities, both rural and urban. As each community adapts to new social conditions, it is vital for us to step up to the challenge of serving our communities and meeting new needs safely through the unique skills and perspectives of youth. Whether it’s creating 4-H content for Cloverbuds online, or providing tutoring to children and parents now navigating online learning, or even establishing new strategies for helping local food pantries, our youth are positioned to help our community in ways we have yet to see. Adults, lean on the abilities of our 4-H members to devise unique solutions in this unstable time. Youth, step up to challenges in your communities and use your curious and inventive minds to solve problems.
How are you showing you care? What ideas can you share? We encourage you to share your journey by tagging us with #AZ4HCares and #TrueLeadersinService on all social media platforms. If you're interested in creating a video about your community service journey, check out April YouTube Challenge.
Supporting Family and Friends
Let's talk about how we can take care of our 4-H families and friends.
The impacts of the pandemic and lockdowns differ from family to family. Look out for your fellow 4-Hers by helping protect and support them in any way that you can.
- Create a shared-use equipment container: There may be 4-Hers who need tools and materials, but not be able to find them or afford them. As an example of people with animal projects, some families may need support finding and funding small items like fly spray or something larger like clean animal bedding.
- Errands for at-risk 4-H members/community members: Offer to run an essential errand for a 4-H member or community member who may be more at-risk for COVID-19.
- Use online tools to stay connected: Right now, it is more important than ever to stay connected when people feel so disconnected from so many other people. Use online tools to create a fun and safe way to collaborate with your 4-H club family, such as Zoom or Skype.
- Financial Support: Due to the economic downturn some of your clubmates may need help to continue in their projects. Talk with your adult leaders about creating a fund or ask how to donate to one.
How are you feeling? How are the people you love feeling?
Virus anxiety and depression are real and our current situations locally and globally increase the impacts. We encourage you to check-in with yourself and your loved ones to make sure that you are still prioritizing mental health.
Here are a few resources for how to keep your spirits up and stay connected with our loved ones.
- Keep active with hobbies that make you happy, or consider using some of your lock-down time to pick up a new activity that may bring you joy.
- Support others who are anxious about the pandemic. Consider learning more about understanding and mitigating virus anxiety
- Practice and share your ideas for resilience with your 4-H family and friends. Check out this guide for keeping your sanity and maintaining calm amidst the chaos.
- Learn more about mental health from quality resources.
Are you staying physically active and healthy right now?
Good physical health is about more than looks. It’s about preparing our bodies to defend themselves. Additionally, physical activity helps boost our mental health and relieve stress.
- Stay active while social distancing: Whatever your ability level, there are online tools to help guide you through exercise and activity. Many subscription services are even free during this time.
- Continue to make nutrition a priority: Even though times are stressful and many of us find ourselves sheltered in our homes, it is still important to maintain healthy choices about nutrition.
- Keep things clean: For a detailed guide as to how to protect yourself and others during these times, check out this resource from the CDC.
Are you looking for ways to prepare your family or community in case of an emergency?
Assist your family by working together to confirm you have all the items needed to be prepared as you exercise social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Here are a few things to consider:
- Reach out to friends, family members that don’t live with you, and neighbors and educate them about the kit checklist. If you have access to extra items, share with those in need.
- Create a family emergency communication plan and be sure that the entire family is on the same page.
- Prepare for any extra needs that your family may have, including any extra needs of your pets.
For a detailed list of ideas, visit www.ready.gov/plan.
Creating and Collecting
Are you ready to use your abilities and skills to help support your local community?
For many, needs within our local communities have increased during the pandemic. Here are a few ideas about how you can support your community in the spirit of "Creating and Collecting."
- Make Cloth Masks: A strong 4-H partner, Joann's, has launched a program known as "Make to Give." Check out their website for information on how to join.
- Donate/Collect Nonperishable Items: Now more than ever, our local food banks are in need of food donations. Let's apply our problem-solving skills and come up with plans to keep our communities #hungerfree!
- Donate/Collect Clothing Items: Many local clothing drops are still accepting clothing donations. Contact your local drop-off center to identify where the greatest needs are.
- Create Snack Packages for Essential Workers: We have many brave people around the country who continue to work so that our communities can still operate. Coordinate with local essential places of business to see how you can support their brave staff members.
- Essential Workers: (ie. truckers and delivery workers, first responders, and medical professionals)