Children everywhere make wish lists for Santa this time of year, but the youth membership from six 4-H chapters across the nation are gifting others instead. From community gardens to care packages for troops overseas, these 4-Hers are forwarding donations they received from designing holiday cards to make an impact in their rural communities and beyond.

The ag communications firm Osborn Barr (O+B) issued a challenge to 4-H youth to design its client holiday cards. In return, the participating clubs were awarded a $250 donation.

Instead of throwing a pizza party with their windfall, the 4-Hers chose to re-invest their money in an altruistic fashion.

Jeffriesburg 4-H in Franklin County opted to give its donation to those in uniform.

“As the kids were all decorating the cards for O+B, they decided it would be fun to send them to U.S. troops overseas for Christmas,” said Lisa Bocklage, a 4-H mom and supervisor at Osborn Barr.

The club went one step further and bought gifts to accompany the cards with their donation.

“They had so much fun! You could tell they understood the meaning of the season by the joy they had bringing happiness to others.”

Osborn Barr’s donations reached beyond St. Louis. The Ontario County 4-H in New York directed its donation to a community garden the kids help grow in their area. In Monroe County, Illinois, the Clover Friends 4-H plans to use their donation to send children to a leadership conference.

The six clubs participating in the holiday card design challenge included:

Winchester 4-H (Winchester, Kan.);

Jeffriesburg 4-H (Franklin County, Mo.);

Clover Friends 4-H (Monroe County, Ill.);

Maeystown Clovers 4-H (Monroe County, Ill.);

Ontario County 4-H (N.Y.); and

Four Leaf Clovers (Reno County, Kan.).

“At O+B, we are all about being ag and rural America’s greatest advocate, so we thought our clients might enjoy holiday cards designed by the next generation of ag-enthusiasts,” said Michael Turley, CEO at Osborn Barr.

What Turley didn’t expect was the generosity of the clubs to pay their money forward.

“By freely using their resources to give back to the community, they are truly exemplifying the spirit of rural America, and we’re proud to play a part in that.”