USU Extension 4-H Program Serves Refugees


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4-H ServiceUSU Extension 4-H Teen Ambassadors from Utah County recently organized a service project to help refugees in their area.

Utah County 4-H Teen Ambassadors are youth selected to represent Utah County 4-H. They develop and use leadership skills to provide programs and services to the Utah County 4-H program. Ambassadors for 2016-2017 are Joshua Boothe of American Fork, Jerod Boley of Saratoga Springs, Autumn Olsen of Springville, and Angelica Coca, Gabriela Coca, Ann Elgaaen and Jane Smith of Provo.

The ambassadors and their adult advisors brainstormed ways to reach out to the refugee community and devised the Holiday Stocking Service Project. Ambassadors decided on the stocking pattern, sent the pattern to the members of local 4-H clubs to sew, wrote letters to local businesses asking for donations and approached businesses and individuals for donations. Donations came in from all over Utah County.

The project culminated in early December when 118 volunteers showed up to help stuff the stockings. Over 2,000 items were donated and 351 stockings createRefugee Serviced, with over 200 volunteer hours invested in the service project.

Among the items donated were: 418 toothbrushes with toothpaste; 423 winter hats; 124 pairs of gloves; 200 rolls of dental floss; 272 small toys; 148 pencils; 36 blankets (including 32 hand-made afghans); 84 containers of deodorant; and 23 jars of Play-Doh. Additionally, the Utah County 4-H program was able to use grant funds to purchase 100 new winter coats for refugee children and adults.

The Ambassadors worked with the Utah Refugee Connection, an organization that serves 70 percent of Utah refugees, to help distribute the stockings.

For more information about helping refugees in Utah, visit For more information about the USU Extension 4-H program, visit or contact the Utah County office at 801-851-8470.

Contact: Diana Boley,