4-H Club aids Camp Fire victims

4-H member Holle sells hot chocolate during the Children’s Electric Christmas Parade to raise money for Camp Fire victims. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

The Renegades 4-H Club, a youth group based out of Clovis, is making sure Camp Fire victims aren’t forgotten.

As part of the program’s year-round community service efforts, the club’s 17 members set out to raise money for the Camp Fire Agricultural Community Relief Fund, an account that has been established and overseen by Golden Valley Bank in Chico. All funds will go directly to families of 4-H, Future Farmers of America (FFA) and Grange programs who have lost their homes.

Now fully extinguished, the Camp Fire was one of the most destructive wildfires in California history, burning through 153,336 acres in Butte County before it reached 100 percent containment in late November.

According to a statement from 4-H, Butte County alone has over 50 4-H families that have lost their homes – a shocking number that fueled the local ag program’s desire to help.

The Renegades kicked off their fundraising efforts in early December by selling hot chocolate at the Children’s Electric Christmas Parade in Old Town Clovis.

The original goal was to raise money to help feed pets and animals of ag families.

“We were raising money for the Camp Fire victims because we thought they might need food for their animals, so we sold hot chocolate for $1 to raise money,” said Holle, a Clovis Unified School District student and member of the Renegades.

However, after finding out about the relief fund, the club decided it would be better to donate the funds there to better serve the ag community as a whole.

For community club leader Anna Zito and the Renegades, the initiative is more than a community service project. Instead, Zito describes it as a “benefit for good” that will “help those clubs rebuild.”

To raise additional funds, the Renegades have another fundraiser coming up Saturday, Jan. 12 at Sequoia Elementary School’s Festive Food Fair.

“We’re going to combine the efforts from what we received at the parade with this one and see what can be done,” said Zito.

4-H is a non-profit, informal educational development program designed to enrich the skills of today’s youth through participation in meetings, club activities, camps, conferences, trips, exchange programs, and other events.

“This is an organization that will help build confidence and character,” added Zito. “They learn to not be afraid and to feel confident in the things that they do. It makes a big impact.”