Editor's note: The Del Norte 4-H column appears every four weeks. Today's column is written by Kelly Lynch.

As our youth are busy gearing up for showing their animals, crafts, and food at the Del Norte County Fair, I wanted to bring community service to light.

Within 4-H, our youth not only focus on learning about their animals and different crafts, but a major focus of 4-H is also community service. Del Norte 4-H and our community both benefit from the services our local members perform.

4-H youth range in age from 5 to 19. Our project leaders have the task of guiding the youths toward becoming well rounded citizens. Each project group has the ability to take on a community service project, and often several project groups will come together to do a large project.

So, amid weighing their project animals for the fair, Pine Grove Rabbit and Poultry kids installed new flower pots, filled them with dirt and finally with beautiful flowers at the Del Norte County Fairgrounds. Our kids raised all the money to purchase the buckets and flowers for this project by selling donuts, Twinkies, water, and sports drinks as well as hosting a silent auction. The 4-H youths also planted all of the flowers that are in front of the poultry and rabbit barns at the fairgrounds right before the fair, during "fair madness" by local 4-Hers.

But it's not only planting flowers that 4-H members do for community service. Our local 4-H'ers have packed "snack sacks" for youths during Christmas break, donated hygiene items to the Community Assistance Network, made Valentine cards for seniors living in nursing homes, made Veteran's Day cards for our local veterans, saved a year's worth of recycling to purchase Christmas presents for needy children, made blankets for Harrington House, brought their animals to local petting zoos - the list goes on and on.

How can all of this community service happen? Most of the time, our youths need the help and support of local businesses to donate items to make the project happen. There are so many businesses that have helped 4-H, that they cannot all be listed. So the next time you see a 4-H'er or the manager of a business, make sure you tell them "thank you" for all the community service that they do.

Please come and check out all of the animals, crafts, and food that our youth have worked on for the past year at the Del Norte County Fair Aug 2-5.

Our market youths would like to see the community's support during the Junior Livestock Auction at the Fair on Aug. 5, starting at 1 p.m. We hope to see you at the fair!

If you have any questions or would like to know more about 4-H, call 707-464-4711 or talk to any 4-H volunteer.