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July 31, 2012 > 4-H teen makes a difference

4-H teen makes a difference

Submitted By Rhea Nayak

Fifteen-year old Fremont resident and 4-H member Rhea Nayak recently led a successful community service project that addressed community safety through the distribution of emergency first aid kits. "We have identified this as an issue in our community," Rhea said.

4-H programs help to prepare young people to make a difference. Over 1,000 civic engagement projects have been launched statewide through the 4-H "Revolution of Responsibility" initiative, part of a celebration of the centennial anniversary of 4-H in California.

Rhea received a grant from the University of California 4-H Youth Development Program for her project and, with the help of her 4-H club, she assembled and distributed 250 first aid kits to local organizations that work with children. Purchasing supplies in bulk enabled the team to assemble kits at low cost of four dollars each. A comparable store-bought kit can cost over $15.

3M's Healthcare division donated assorted Nexcare bandages and the American Red Cross allowed the club to print and include their first aid at-a-glance handout in each kit. The kits are well stocked with a variety of first aid items including roll gauze, wrap bandages, cold compress, gloves, cotton balls, Ibuprofen, assorted bandages, antiseptic wipes, antibiotic ointment packs, burn cream packs, cotton tip applicators, sterile eye pads, gauze pads, tweezers, safety pin, single-use thermometer, tongue depressors, emergency card and first aid instruction.

Recipients include Irvington High School in Fremont, the City of Fremont's Recreational Programs, Sunrise Village Family Shelter in Fremont, Dream Catcher Emergency Youth Shelter in Alameda, Alameda County 4-H projects, and Alameda County 4-H Summer Camp.

"The best part of the First Aid Kits project is receiving feedback on the impact it has had on the community", Rhea said. East Hills Community Club co-leader Tanya Daly thinks the kits are a great benefit to her club, saying "they not only provide materials needed for a first aid incident, they provide the assurance that they are available." Rena Kiehn with the City of Fremont's Teens and Community Programming noticed the kits have outfitted most of Fremont's camps and schools, commenting, "How cool is this!" Irvington High School PTSA President Ujjwala Gadgil appreciated the kits as well. "The first aid supplies will certainly help us keep our students safe," she said.

With the help her 4-H club, Rhea was able to help the community. "I believe that each one of us can contribute and make a difference in our own unique way," she said.

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