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September 12, 2005

Helpful Hands, Healing Hearts

Helpful Hands logo

Cooperative Extension responds to Katrina
In response to the continued need for hurricane relief assistance as
requested by our sister Extension Services, the North Carolina 4-H Youth Development Program, the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service Foundation and the 4-H Development Fund have responded with a comprehensive plan. I am asking each of you to thoughtfully consider
how you might personally be involved in this effort and how you might involve your constituency groups (Extension and Community Association, 4-H clubs, civic clubs, etc.) It will also be helpful to designate a coordinator for each county.

Oct. 8 will be declared Extension's "Helpful Hands, Healing Hearts Day" and we will have trucks in all four corners of the state begin to pick up items as detailed below and on the 4-H Web site --

Resources were recently placed on the Web site to describe our four-fold approach to the relief effort and to assist you in marketing the "Helpful Hands, Healing Hearts" Campaign. We are also including press releases and radio announcements that can be made to announce your collection site. Imagine the appeal of a 4-H or ECA member on local radio stations asking the community to help with the campaign!

Several state agencies have called asking if they can assist us with the campaign. The North Carolina Bankers Association has agreed to collect boxes for us. Schools are beginning to ask their families to help (one of our 4-H'ers did an appeal at his school today and the principal challenged the school to do 700 boxes). Our Extension community has a great opportunity to make a difference and we know you will respond by getting our clientele involved.

The campaign is four-fold...

Donations of cash – All of the funds you contribute to the North Carolina 4-H Development Fund will be sent to Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama 4-H Funds for direct distribution to Extension families (professionals, volunteers, clientele). With these donations, you can be assured that 100 percent of the funds will get to those who need it most. A form is provided on the Web site to make donations.

ECA and 4-H members are challenged to do community solicitations through faith-based and civic organizations. Jar wrappers have been produced along with an information sheet to provide the potential donor with a legitimizing statement about the campaign.

Clover Kits -- Children will be living in evacuation centers for a long time and need to have activities to do while they are at these centers. A suggested list of items to fill a shoebox is provided on the Web site as well. We are also inviting the preparer of each shoebox to include a letter of encouragement to the receiver.

Essentials Kits -- Shoeboxes filled with items to help meet the basic hygiene needs of the recipient. A list is also provided on the Web site.

We are working with trucking companies to schedule pick-up points across the state, with a central meeting point in Charlotte before they head south. Pick-up sites for these kits (and other supplies that people wish to bring) will be located along four routes that will be placed on the Web site. This will allow you to coordinate delivery to the pick-up site.

"Helpful Hands, Healing Hearts" Wristbands -- These wristbands will be available for sale with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the relief effort. They will arrive before the end of the month and can be utilized with this and other relief efforts.

We are also exploring possibilities about the use of 4-H Camps as Evacuation Centers.

Let's all rally behind this opportunity to demonstrate our compassion! Please contact Shannon McCollum, 919.515, 8486 or shannon_mccollum@ncsu.edu for information about the kits or Jackie Helton, 919.513.8254 or jackie_helton@ncsu.edu for information about cash donations.

--Dr. Jon F. Ort, Director
North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service

Posted by Natalie at September 12, 2005 02:00 PM