Anyone who would like to help young people stay warm this winter can contact a 4-H member anywhere in Oklahoma County and give them some “H.U.G.S.”
H.U.G.S. are new hats, underwear, gloves and socks that are collected by 4-H clubs and members in the fall and delivered to kids who need them through churches, schools, community groups and other outreach avenues.
“This is the way we celebrate National 4-H Month in October,” explained Kyle Worthington, 4-H Youth Educator for the Oklahoma County 4-H program. “We started this program years ago when we wanted to kick off 4-H Month by doing something for the kids in our communities who were in need. We found that there were already programs in place that helped people get warm coats, but no one was thinking about their need for underwear, socks and warm gloves and hats.”
Last year, 4-H members collected around 2,000 H.U.G.S. and donated them to Positive Tomorrows, a school for homeless children, the Infant Crisis Center, the Salvation Army, Christmas Connection, Citizens Caring for Children and other groups.
“We found that doing something for someone else is a great way to kick off our new year,” Worthington said. “October is National 4-H Month and collecting H.U.G.S. has become the way we celebrate that.”
In addition to individual members collecting H.U.G.S., 4-H clubs place a number of H.U.G.S. boxes around the Oklahoma City metro area so that individuals can deliver their H.U.G.S.
Collection sites include the Oklahoma County OSU Cooperative Extension office and all of the County Commissioner’s and other elected official’s offices in Oklahoma County.
“Our 4-Hers are just now starting to deliver boxes,” Worthington explained. “We update our list daily and so encourage anyone wanting to find a H.U.G.S. donation site in their area to call the OSU Extension Center for locations.”
The 4-H clubs will be collecting H.U.G.S. through the second week of November.
For more information about the H.U.G.S. program, contact the Oklahoma County 4-H department at 713-1125.