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Our Illinois 4-H Story

Celebrating military families in our community during April

military family hugging with flag

4-H Clubs looking for a service project during the Month of April might want to explore doing something for the military families living in their communities. 4-H clubs looking for a service project this spring should explore ways to support military local families during April which is the Month of the Military Child!

Military families make up a very special part of our nation’s population. Behind every service member is a family that supports them whether they are at home or deployed. For Illinois military families, this includes more than 27,100 active-duty service members; 33,200 National Guard and Reserve members; which translates into nearly 17,000 military spouses; and more than 30,000 children.

In addition to inviting youth of military families to join your 4-H club, here is a list of other potential projects 4-H clubs might do to show their support:

• Contact your local Library and schedule a Celebrating Military Kids Day by hosting a Cloverbud Story Time and providing them with snacks (plan for food allergies).

• Coordinate a special day with hands-on activities for military families.

• Invite youth of military families to provide a picture of their service member to create a Wall of Heroes that can remain on display during the month of April at a local venue, possibly the local library or school.

• Create Family Packs for military families in your community. The Family Packs can include items that support family activities such as board games; craft kits; gift cards for local family-oriented experiences and/or restaurant!

Use these ideas as a jumping off point to celebrate military families in your community this month, and all year long. Download a printable flier of these ideas.

About the Author: Patricia McGlaughlin is a 4-H youth development specialist with over 40 years of experience with military partnerships, volunteerism, global civic engagement, and more. She is based out of the State 4-H Office in Champaign.