Charity begins at home

4-H members collect money, food, toys in Forestville

Members were on hand for the donation to the Forestville Food Pantry. From left are, front row, Lorrain Hodkin, Jesse Morse, Hunter Bova. In second row: Dawson Dowd, Chase Dowd, Owen Kilburn, Abigail Oakes, Alyssa Graziano, Tianna Bova. Third row: Ava Brandt, Angelyz Hodkin, Awnna Aldinger, Sienna Galofaro. In back are: Summer Sanden, Maddie Oakes and Aiden Kilburn.

Special to the OBSERVER

FORESTVILLE — The Fredonia Star Riders, a 4-H Club with their home base in Forestville and members from all around the Northern Chautauqua County area, held their fourth annual community service project: collecting money for the Forestville Food Pantry.

The youth, undaunted by the weather, stood outside of three Forestville businesses with Santa hats on, sleigh bells, a please donate sign, a donation container, and with their best smiles for two hours on two different days and asked the patrons entering the business to help the needy in the community.

The first date was Dec. 6, during which the children raised $213.22 and the second date was Dec. 13 at which they collected $288.64. The club was not only blessed with beautiful evenings both days, but they were blessed with generous donors.

In addition to the monetary collection, the club also arranged with the Forestville Elementary School, during the first two weeks of December, to collect donations of food, toys, and clothing for the Forestville Food Pantry. The students, faculty, and staff were asked to bring a donation to school and place it under the Christmas tree in the main corridor.

Awnna Aldinger at Forestville school with donations of gifts.

On Dec. 18, a very snowy and stormy afternoon, the donations were collected and taken to the food pantry. The club was not able to weigh the donations of food, but suffice to say, many boxes were collected along with hats, mittens and of course toys!

The finale of this community service project is when the club presents the Forestville Food Pantry a check for the amount collected and at the clubs recent Christmas party, the 4-H club president, Jesse Morse, and all the club members, handed Lorraine Hodkin from the Forestville Food Pantry, the check for $502. It is a wonderful statement of love and generosity from the community and one of the favorite community service projects that the club members enjoy doing year after year!

The club would like to thank the three Forestville businesses who allowed the club to stand outside their doors and collect the donations: Cave’s, Evans Bank, and Tavern on the Mall. They would also like to thank Renee Garrett, superintendent of the Forestville Central School who allowed the school to be the collection site for the food, clothing, and toys

The 4-H Youth Development Program is one of many programs offered by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Chautauqua County (CCE-Chautauqua). CCE-Chautauqua is a community based educational organization, affiliated with Cornell University, Chautauqua County government, the State University of New York system, and the federal government through the United States Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture. For more information, call 664-9502 or visit our website at www.cce.cornell.edu/chautauqua. Cornell University Cooperative Extension provides equal program and employment opportunities.