Success StoryMilitary Family Support



Military Family Support

Author: Toni Humble

Planning Unit: Wayne County CES

Major Program: Community Vitality and Leadership – 4-H Youth Development

Plan of Work: Supporting Those Who Support Us

Outcome: Initial Outcome

Wayne County 4-H began a strong working relationship with our local National Guard unit in 2011. This partnership has brought programming to an underserved audience in our community. Monthly packets have been delivered to soldiers and families with education materials on healthy recipes, family communications, budgeting and more during their monthly drill meetings. The Wayne Co 4-H Ambassadors have taken on the leadership role of serving their Christmas meal, learning how the Guard serves our community and potential employment opportunities, and how the community can assist them. With the announcement of a late 2023 deployment, the Ambassadors have been  utilizing leadership skills to support 87 soldiers and families during upcoming trainings, pre-mobilization, deployment and re-integration. Fundraising has also been conducted in support of the unit through work with the local school system and partner National Guard Unit that will be deploying from Taylor County. By partnering with the Taylor County 4-H program we held a Cents for Soldiers program at our local high schools raising nearly $3800 that went directly to the NCO fund for the units. As a direct result, Wayne County CES & 4-H provided HERO Packs to each service member that included upon deployment including: (a) soldier pillow, (b) journal, (c) encouragement letters, (d) CES contact information, (e) bedtime recordings, (f) financial information, (g) military one source information, and (h) other community donations. Over $2000 in gifts were donated for the children of deploying soldiers, $3800 was raised through our “Cents for Soldiers” program with an additional $3000 in monetary donations going toward the Non-Commissioned Officer fund that supports our unit for future needs. A survey of soldiers, spouses, and parents revealed that 82% of those surveyed agreed that 4-H had been helpful during this experience, 93% of those surveyed noted the HERO packs contained information that was helpful to their family, and 97% of those surveyed recognized the Cooperative Extension Service as a valuable resource for military families.






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