As I look around this small community of ours, I feel it necessary to note how generous the people within it are blessed to be. From Relay for Life to Girl Scout Cookies and Boy Scout Popcorn, we support one anotherís causes. In my own 4-H club, we collect pop tops for Ronald McDonald House, write letters to overseas soldiers, collect Box Tops for schools, and collect school uniforms for those in need. We gather newspapers for PALS, books for Driscoll Childrenís Hospital, and prizes for the Bingo players at Northwest Retirement Home. My personal project is one called Backpacks for Teen Foster Kids.

Through this project, I gather backpacks, school supplies, new clothes, and other items that might comfort teenagers who are removed from their homes. Most children who are placed in foster care have lived with abuse for years by the time they are finally identified. Unfortunately for these kids, most people prefer to purchase items for younger children, so organizations such as The Rainbow Room run short on supplies for older kids. Children who are removed from their homes seldom remain in their own county. According to a spokesperson at The Rainbow Room, many Nueces County youth are placed in Jim Wells County. Many of these providers have corporate sponsors, but The Rainbow Room in Jim Wells County does not. Last year, we provided over 50 backpacks full of clothing, toiletries, and other items. This year, my goal is 75 backpacks.

If you or someone you know would like to join 4-H or if you would like to donate to this cause or any of the others that I mentioned, please contact our local county extension agent by calling (361) 767-5223.