Vernon Parish 4-H’ers participated in the Ronald McDonald House Aluminum Tab Collection service-learning project.
The goals of this project were to educate others concerning the use and needs of the Ronald McDonald House programs, to involve our parish and communities in our efforts, to collect more than 700 pounds of aluminum tabs for donation and to educate others in the need to recycle for our environment. This project was developed after a local family had to use the Ronald McDonald House four years ago and mentioned how the program was funded and their need for cleaning supplies, food supplies and other everyday living expenses such as the air conditioners going out and needing to be replaced, food, emergency money for a family, etc.
The Vernon Parish 4-H Teen Leaders have continued to check up on the needs and have voted to continue this project for four years now; each year bringing tabs and cleaning supplies to the home and stuffed toys and animals to the hospital. Teens learned how to evaluate past experiences in order to raise the level of success for collections. Teens also learned how to contact and create publicity to include others in efforts. They learned the needs of families with young ones having prolonged or continuous hospital visits. Their visits with the patients and their families helped to ease the loneliness involved in hospital stays.
The group delivered tabs to the Ronald McDonald House and toys and animals to the hospital and were treated to a meal at the Olive Garden in Monroe. Pictures were shared with the newspaper to thank all involved in the project. Pictures were also shared with the Ronald McDonald House and the medical staff at St. Francis Hospital. Teens reflected through a group setting to evaluate the success of the project and to create possible activities to improve collections. They also discussed what was learned through the visits to the Ronald McDonald House and the hospital. The project lasted 75 hours and served 500 people as of 7/14/2009.