Giving back while staying safe

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A 4-H'er holds a garbage bag while cleaning up at a park.

Giving back while staying safe

Volunteering ideas during COVID!

by Jill Jackson, Extension Educator with 4-H

Within the 4-H world, we constantly see members and adult leaders spending time helping others in the community. It’s even part of our 4-H pledge as we pledge our hands to larger service. But guess what? Anyone is capable of serving others!

Whether you are age 2 or age 92, there are a variety of things you can do! Here are just a few examples of how easy it is to help others:


Help your community/school

  • Start a canned food drive and donate goods to your local Food Bank or community center.
  • Clean up litter around your school and/or community businesses.
  • Clean up a local park, cemetery or vacant lot.
  • Turn a vacant lot into a community garden.
  • Paint a mural over graffiti (with property owner permission).
  • Adopt-a-Highway — Clean up litter along your local roadways.
  • Plant flowers around the town to beautify your community.
  • Volunteer at a beach clean-up or plant beach grass.
  • Hold a Recycling Drive to repurpose items such as markers, plastic bottles, cans, jars, paper towel rolls, etc.  See what kinds of crafts you can make out of these items!
  • Tutor a student virtually in one of your favorite subjects.
  • Volunteer at a Habitat for Humanity build site (ages 16 and older).


Help children in need

  • Make and donate blankets or pillowcases to local hospitals.
  • Gather items for Operation Christmas Child to send to needy children around the world.


Help the homeless

  • Make care packages that include soap, shampoo, toothbrush, toothpaste, socks, hats, gloves and scarves.
  • Donate clothing, books, etc. to local shelters.


Help the elderly

  • Help an elderly neighbor by doing yardwork, shoveling snow, etc.
  • Adopt a “grandfriend”.  Send coloring pages, cards, notes and call and elderly friend or neighbor.


Help the military

  • Make and send cards to deployed soldiers throughout the year.
  • Make and send care packages to local soldiers who are deployed.  Find out what some of their favorite foods and be sure to include a note thanking them for their service! One example of this is through Operation Shoebox.
  • Send encouraging notes and care packages to local families who have a family member who is deployed.


Help animals

  • Make homemade toys and/or treats for animals in a shelter.
  • Volunteer to walk your neighbor’s dog.


We hope these examples inspire you to become a true leader in service, just like so many of our Delaware 4-H members!