Student members of the Union County 4-H Variety Club reached across local and state borders to help displaced pets earlier this year. Through their “4-H for our 4 Pawed Friends” community service project, they collected donations to help St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison after the organization sheltered more than 700 pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

A representative of St. Hubert’s recently visited the Variety Club to honor the students with a St. Hubert’s Humane Hero award in recognition of their work.

“The Freeholder Board congratulates our 4-H students on earning the Humane Hero award,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “They demonstrated exemplary leadership by identifying a community in need, and developing a plan that involved their peers and neighbors in making a real difference.”

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The 4-H for our 4 Pawed Friends project included making handmade catnip toys and collecting donations from schools, family and friends.

PetSmart in Watchung Square Mall also provided donations.

In all, the 4-H students collected over 500 food items, 150 dog and cat toys, 100 miscellaneous animal care items. A total of $363.00 in donations was used to purchase PetSmart gift cards for the shelter.

“The Freeholder Board is proud to support the 4-H mission of developing the youth leaders of tomorrow, and enabling young people to envision how the whole person -- ‘Head, Heart, Hands and Health’ – can contribute to make our community stronger,” said Granados.

Union County 4-H is a program of the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Union County, supported in part by the Freeholder Board, and headquartered at the Extension offices in Westfield. The program develops teamwork, organization, public speaking and other leadership skills by providing students in grades 1-12 with opportunities to explore their passions and interests.

For information on joining a 4-H club or volunteering as an adult club leader email Union County 4-H agent Jim Nichnadowicz at  jnichnadowicz@ucnj.org or visit online at ucnj.org/rce.

For all Union County programs and services visit ucnj.org, call the Public Info Line, 877-424-1234, email info@ucnj.org or use the online Contact Form.

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