EASTON — Kate Chapple, a member of the Talbot County Skipjacks 4-H Club in Easton, was awarded the Level Six Diamond Clover at the Maryland 4-H Foundation Gala earlier this year.
She collaborated with the Gratitude House in Easton to build a garage storage unit. The Gratitude House is a set of substance abuse recovery residences for men and women. The mission of the Gratitude House is to provide safe, affordable and supportive housing for all people to live and grow in recovery from drug and alcohol abuse.
Chapple was able to collaborate with a local construction company, Willow Construction LLC, where she was able to plan the garage storage project, estimate her costs for fundraising, secure the materials and then build the storage unit.
Chapple met with the owners of the Gratitude House in fall 2018 and went to brainstorming on ideas to help the women of the Gratitude House.
The women’s home had a large detached garage where many donations sat unused and unorganized. Chapple and owner Sara Rissolo came up with the idea of building a storage unit for all of the donations and extra supplies. That is when Chapple set out planning fundraising and executing her project.
Another initiative to Chapple’s project was leading and organizing a toiletry and cleaning supply donation drive. Chapple wrote letters about the drive to community service organizations and lead her local 4-H club in getting supplies for the Gratitude House. Chapple learned these small items can add up in cost and her drive resulted in hundreds of items being donated.
A criterion for the Level 6 Diamond Clover 4-H project is that the project must have an educational component and be sustainable.
“I had many wonderful platforms available to me through 4-H to help educate my peers and community about the dangers involved with drug and alcohol abuse,” Chapple said.
Chapple made a presentation for the Talbot County 4-H Visual Arts Presentations in April 2019 called “Stifling Stigmas.” In August, Chapple held a bake sale and made educational materials for the Fed Up Rally (International Overdose Awareness Day), where she was able to talk to her peers and younger children about making positive choices and staying active.
Chapple also submitted updates and new resources submissions to Healthy Talbot, a website resource project run by the Talbot Family Network.
Chapple loved working on her project.
“Being part of this volunteer program has allowed me to reaffirm that I love volunteering, and I was able to further develop special skills, such as leadership, public speaking, research, carpentry and fundraising skills,” she said.
She also said she learned so much from the experts at Willow Construction LLC.
“I got to use all kinds of power tools — nail guns, drills, miter saws,” she said. “I learned how to take a construction project from paper to completion!”
For help with her project, Chapple would like to thank Willow Construction LLC, Talbot County Extension Office, American Legion Talbot Post 70, Easton Elks Lodge No. 1622, Lowe’s, Warren’s Wood Works, Christ Church, Easton, Midshore Restoring Hope In Women, the Fed Up Rally leaders, fellow 4-H members, friends and family.
“I look forward to continuing to stay active in educating my peers about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse,” she said.
Talbot County 4H empowers young people with the skills to lead for a lifetime. If you have a child who would like to join a chapter in Talbot County 4-H, call 410-822-1244, email Tom Hutson at firstname.lastname@example.org or see the flyer online at extension.umd.edu/talbot-county. Adults are welcome to become 4-H volunteers. Volunteers share their skills by helping with 4-H projects and programs or starting 4-H clubs that create new opportunities for youth.