By Becky Bennett
The third week of December is Human Rights month. In 4-H we promote awareness of all cultures and communities, emphasizing the importance of using the four H’s to be accepting of others. This year the H4 column has explored several topics of celebration ranging from the kooky to the more serious in hopes of demonstrating how through diversity and acceptance we build a stronger community. If you’ve been inspired to lend a hand in your community there are several charities that accept donations and volunteers not only during the holiday seasons, but also year round. Your local 4-H is always in need of volunteers to help with its different events throughout the year. Remember volunteer organizations do not wish to take you away from your families and other responsibilities; they wish for people to donate the amount of time they feel comfortable with, doing the things they enjoy. If you don’t feel comfortable committing several hours to teaching a workshop, but you love working in the garden ask if you can donate an hour or two here or there to help start a community garden for your favorite organization. Not a gardener? Think about a talent you have that could be useful to an organization, whether you’re a certified life guard who would love to donate your services for an afternoon outing or you truly enjoy organizing functions. Everyone has special talents that can help serve our communities or organizations better; the task is to find out how to put those talents to use and avoiding feeling burnt out and used. As in all things in life, open communication and an open mind are the best methods for building a strong, positive community.
During this time of abundance and thanksgiving, it is important that we take the time to reach out to our neighbors and community members to show our support. Forget the stress and hectic sense that seems to dominate the holiday season and choose to take a more positive stand. Start your New Year’s resolution early and pledge your Head to clearer thinking, your Heart to greater loyalty, your Hands to larger service, and your Health to better living, for your family, you community, your country, and your world!
Becky V. Bennett
The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Employment Opportunity—Affirmative Action Employer authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Cooperative Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A&M. University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating.