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4-H Promotion Compendium: A Gift To Care

A National Compendium of 4-H Promotion and Visibility over the Past Century

A Gift To Care

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During the 1947 National 4-H Congress delegates were divided into discussion groups on Monday morning to begin talking about issues of the day, with the groups reporting back at a General Assembly on Thursday morning to the complete assembled Congress delegation. The general theme for that year's Congress was "Working Together to Build Better Home and World Community."

Near the end of the "give and take" of the reporting panel (also popularly termed the "Fight for the Mike" session) something special happened in almost less time than the story can be told.

It started when the 4-H'ers were discussing what they could do to speed the building of a better world community and the many who were starving in Europe. Robert Bull of Maryland challenged, "Why can't we do something right here and now." Suddenly the boys from Texas, out in the audience, sprang to their feet in unison and started passing their big 10-gallon hats along the rows for contributions. The panel members jumped off the stage to help with the collection. The answer to Bull's question was swift and real. $662.35 was piled on the front of the stage. As soon as the assembly was over some of the panel members rode away in a police car to a local bank and sent the $662.35 at once to CARE. A message, penned by the panel while at the bank went with it: "From the Heart H of the 4-H's of America to the hungry urban boys and girls of Europe."

As the discussion panel was gathering up the pile of contributions near the end of the assembly, John Cornah, a boy from England, sprang on stage and going to one of the microphones, speaking for the hard hit youth of Europe, thanked American 4-H'ers for their generosity.

A girl's state 4-H leader, standing in the wings, said "tears rolled down over my cheeks and my eyes blurred so I could hardly see." She went on, "I turned around to ask something of Earline Gandy, a farm paper correspondent. Writers are supposed to be hardened. She couldn't even speak to me. She was all choked up."

The best of moments often seem to be those which aren't even in the script.

While this story may not have generated a lot of publicity at the time, it is simply one of those stories about 4-H history that we cannot afford to lose. [CARE, founded in 1945 for this exact purpose, continues today to help fight poverty and provide emergency relief for children and families around the world.]

Compiled by National 4-H History Preservation Team.

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