4-H Cloverbuds and Service: Creating Care Packages for Deployed Soldiers, Veterans or Military Families


May 30, 2019

Empowering Cloverbuds

Cloverbuds can participate in community service as much as any other 4-H member.  Lessons may need to be adapted for developmental appropriateness, but they can achieve the benefits of service regardless of age.

What's it all about?

Service involves looking outside yourself and helping or doing work for your community or individuals within the community.

  • Serving the community, the individuals receive benefits because they are a member of the community. 
  • Serving others also benefits the 4-H member by building life skills that may include:
    • Responsible Citizenship, Teamwork, Character, Concern for Others, Communication, Goal Setting, Problem Solving and many more.

Before Project

  • Teach the youth about soldiers who are deployed and veterans and the challenges they and their families face. 
  • Talk to your local Veterans Affairs Office or an organization like operation gratitude to see what needs the veterans have during the time of year of the project.
  • Identify possible donors or resources.
  • Decide who your group is going to make packages for. 
  • Determine where to take items once collected. 

During Project

  • Gather goods. 
  • Package goods with care. 
  • Include a personal touch. (special project, personal note, photo etc.)
  • Take photos and record the event to share with the media.

After Project

  • Reflect on your project.
  • Have a celebration. 

Focus on the service

To have a successful service project it is important for the group to work through the entire project before they actually collect items to send to soldiers, veterans or their families.  There are many organizations that will take the collected items to send to soldiers if your group doesn’t have a group already identified.  Working with these groups can help you to get the items to as many soldiers, veterans or families as possible in a timely manner. However, your group may want to reach out to your local veterans affairs office or local military base to see if there is a local need.

Once a group is identified consider the following: 

  • Will your group reach out to just family and friends, other 4-H clubs, local community or others to collect items?
  • Will your group host a collection event?
  • Who will be responsible for storing the items from the time they are collected until they are shipped?
  • Who will be responsible for shipping the items? Have you considered the cost of shipping?
  • Who will document the event with photos, quotes from participants and donors etc.

Reflections and Celebration

  • Take time to look over your project and discuss things that the group could have done differently to make the process run more smoothly.
  • Consider other things the group might change, delete or add for a future project. 
  • CELEBRATE!! - Plan a party with the members, sponsors, local veterans office and MSU Extension 4-H office to celebrate your success.
  • Share your project with your local Extension office, local papers and social media. Be sure to only use photos of youth who have signed a photo release with the Extension office.   
  • Work with your MSU Extension office to attend a County Commissioner meeting to share your project success with them. 


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