Youth Participate in Charitable Service Work for Peers in Need During AFR's Leadership SummitWed, 09 Aug 2017 09:58:32 CDT
During the recent AFR Leadership Summit, youth participants worked on service projects that benefitted children less fortunate than themselves.
During the teen session, for grades 7-9, the youth constructed 80 fleece blankets for donation to Project Linus. According to their website, the mission for Project Linus is to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets. The blankets are collected locally and distributed to children in hospitals, shelters, social service agencies, or anywhere that a child might be in need of a big hug.
The service project for the senior session students, grades 10-12, was a research project focused on finding the best charity to receive a $1,000 donation. The students chose to donate to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
"I think this is great for these young people to get involved and care about helping children," Emily Drover, Oklahoma City representative for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.
The mission of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Founded by Danny Thomas, the hospital's vision is no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or ability to pay.
"Families never receive a bill from us," Drover said. "We believe all a family should worry about is helping their child."
The service projects were honored Aug. 8 during recognition with the respective organizations. Representing the young participants was the AFR Youth Advisory Council, elected at the senior session.
"I've always wanted to give back and improve the world," Drew Hardaway, Battiest, Okla., and Youth Advisory Council member, said.
For Micaela Danker, AFR youth development coordinator, watching the young rural Oklahomans work on these service projects was a great joy.
"I think it is incredible these kids care enough to spend part of their summer helping others," Danker said.
The history of AFR is rich with culture and growth and began with Oklahoma Farmers Union. For more than 40 years the farm organization has sponsored a leadership summit for the state's top young leaders. Many of the participants have taken what they have learned at the summit back to their communities and served in greater leadership roles at the local and state levels.
This year 200 young leaders participated in the annual summit, held July 23-29 at the Heartland Conference Center near Oklahoma City.
Source - American Farmers & Ranchers
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