Teaming up to comfort cancer patients

4-H teens from across the Panhandle of Florida are teaming up with Youth Service America and Farm Credit of Northwest Florida to bring comfort to cancer patients. Each year, teens across the Florida panhandle convene for a weekend to practice leadership skills, learn workforce skills and participate in service to their communities. This years’ event will be February 24-26th at 4-H Camp Timpoochee.

“Teens plan and lead the weekend retreat. Last year, teens cut out and donated more than 200 pairs of shoes for Sole Hope, an organization that provides shoes for children in Africa in order to prevent foot related diseases. This year, the project they chose was to make Chemo Kits for cancer patients. I am so proud of the work they are doing,” says Regional Specialized 4-H Agent, Heather Kent.

Over the next six weeks, teens will be collecting items for the kits and will bring them to the retreat to package them up. Each county will be partnering with local hospitals and hospice groups to distribute the kits and bring comfort to many who are battling cancer.

This project is sponsored in part by both Youth Service America (funded through State Farm) and Farm Credit of Northwest Florida. To make these funds go even further, they are asking 4-H clubs, alumni, civic clubs and other 4-H supporters to please donate items for the kits so that they can serve as many cancer patients as possible. You can drop the items off at the local 4-H Extension Office through February 23rd.

Here’s a list of items that are needed:

·         Coloring books (youth and adult)

·         Crayons/ colored pencils

·         Beanies/ hats

·         Headbands

·         Water bottles

·         Stuffed animals

·         Slipper socks

·         Mints

·         Playing cards

·         Small tubes of unscented moisturizer

Please consider supporting this district-wide service project. These small items will bring such comfort to those suffering through chemo treatments. Youth will be including personal notes of encouragement in each kit. Kits will be distributed during Global Youth Service Day, April 21-23rd.

Teen Retreat is open to youth ages 13-18 and the deadline to register is January 31st. 4-H is open to all youth, ages 5-18, regardless of gender, race, color, ethnicity, nationality, creed, or disability.