McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

December 24, 2012

Kids Helping Kids

By Greg Owen
OSU Extension Educator

McALESTER — Kids Helping Kids is a service project/fundraiser for Oklahoma 4-H and the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oklahoma City, a non-profit organization that provides a “home away from home” for families with very ill or injured kids who are receiving medical treatment in Oklahoma City.

This awesome project is the longest-running fund raiser in Oklahoma 4-H history. In the campaign, 4-H members will ask for monetary donations for the House. For every dollar given, 4-H members will give a coupon to participating McDonald’s restaurants in Oklahoma.

In the 25 years since the campaign began, 4-H’ers have raised more than $800,000 to help their local clubs and families facing crises larger than most of us could ever imagine. From Pittsburg County alone, 32 families spent 204 nights in the Ronald McDonald House from 2011 to 2012.

Kids Helping Kids isn’t just another fundraiser for a youth organization. It raises money for local 4-H clubs, but it also supplies much needed money to the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Oklahoma City. By providing lodging, meals, and laundry facilities, the House helps relieve some of the financial burdens and stress for families during difficult times.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities of Oklahoma City need our help more than ever. Because the House has to turn away hundreds of families each year, the charity is finalizing plans to build a new house in Oklahoma City. It will connect to the Children’s Hospital so families will be just two minutes and 15 seconds away from their loved ones.

This year’s prizes for participating 4-H members will be better than ever. If a 4-H members raises $25 or more they will receive a McDonald’s free sandwich coupon and an “I Love 4-H” sticker. If a 4-H member raises $50 or more they will have their name entered in a drawing to win an Xbox 360 Kinect and two exciting games to help them get up and move. The top individual in the county will receive an iPod Shuffle engraved with the 4-H motto. The first-place individual in the state will win an iPad 3 with a 4-H cover; second place will win a Kindle Fire HD, and third place will win a 16 megapixel Canon Powershot digital camera. The top three clubs in the state will receive gift certificates to the National 4-H Mall.

Awards for clubs are as follows: first place — $150; second place — $125, and third place — $100.

The breakdown of how much money raised and where it goes is as follows:

• A third of the monies raised stay with the local 4-H club,

• A half of the money raised goes to the Ronald McDonald House Charities, and

• A sixth goes to the state 4-H program to be utilized for state 4-H awards.

Krebs 4-H will be participating and will be running the fundraiser in our county from Jan. 1 through March 8. Please help support our local 4-H club in their efforts for this worthwhile cause.

For more information about this and other 4-H activities, please give us a call at the office at 918-423-4120 or email me at greg.owen@okstate.edu.

Greg Owen is the Extension 4-H youth development educator for the Pittsburg County Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service.