Michigan 4-H youth assist with hurricane relief efforts

Story provided by
Marvin Hill, Iron County 4-H Sharpshooters leader;
Story by Emily Kittendorf, communications assistant,
MSU Extension

ESCANABA—Spiraling from a tropical depression to a major hurricane in under 40 hours, Hurricane Harvey quickly became the center of everyone’s attention near the end of August. It’s devastating winds and flooding battered the Gulf Coast region of Texas and made Hurricane Harvey the costliest tropical cyclone on record, with almost $200 billion in damage. With millions of Texans in need of supplies, money and aid, Michigan 4-H’ers across the state quickly sprang into action to help the hurricane victims and show their support for those affected.
    Across Michigan, more than 40 members of the Michigan 4-H community lent their hands and hearts to help support Texas after Harvey. Many Michigan 4-H members, volunteers and clubs donated directly to the Texas 4-H Foundation, while others carried out service projects to benefit various relief efforts. These efforts included collecting agricultural supplies, household items, nonperishable food, monetary donations and other necessities, and sending them to those in need in the Lone Star State.
    Recognizing the detrimental impact that Hurricane Harvey had on Texas agriculture, the Iron County 4-H Sharp Shooters collected nearly 60 pounds of vegetable seeds to help farmers overcome their flood losses. Working together, 11 members and four volunteers of the Sharp Shooter Club solicited the seeds from various businesses and local gardeners, who generously donated to the cause. The seeds were sent to Houston’s Independent School District, where they will benefit the elementary school’s Junior Master Gardener programs.
    “Your donation was such a blessing to Houston Independent School District (ISD) Food and Nutrition Services,” said Julia Jarrell, Houston ISD nutrition education dietitian. “The seeds will allow many young people to participate in the program and improve their nutrition by tasting and eating the produce that they grow.”
    While Iron County 4-H members were collecting seeds, Gratiot County’s 4-H Exchange Club was raising monetary donations for their Texas exchange partner, Guadalupe County 4-H. Though Guadalupe County was spared from Hurricane Harvey’s heavy damage, a group of Guadalupe County 4-H’ers went to Houston to help with the cleanup efforts, partially supported by the $600 generated by Gratiot County 4-H donations.

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