UTIA Family, please refer to utk.edu/coronavirus for the latest updates and student information. For UTIA-specific resources, including event information and county office status, please visit utia.tennessee.edu/coronavirus .

Little Did We Know…

Apr 13, 2020


Steve Sutton, Assistant Director Tennessee 4-H Foundation

Last fall our state council selected “A Place to Call Home” as this year’s statewide 4-H theme. Little did they know at the time, the significance this theme would take on in the coming months as we all continue to stay safer in the places we call home.

Our lives have changed dramatically with the COVID-19 pandemic, and it can feel a little overwhelming at times. We’re all living a new normal. Simple actions such as washing our hands, cleaning our homes and finding a package of toilet paper on a supermarket shelf have taken on new meaning!

As we are told to shelter at home, many are dealing with the loss of things we took for granted… eating at a favorite restaurant, going to a movie and getting a haircut, just to name a few. Young people are dis- appointed by the cancellations and postponements brought on by the pandemic… not only 4-H activities, but school, church and sports as well. And many future events are still in question. Times of uncertainly make us all anxious and uncomfortable. What can you do to combat this?

I encourage each of you to look at the positive rather than the negative. Keep busy! This is a time for us to step up. Why not do all those things you’ve had on the back burner. Agents, develop that program you’ve always wanted to do for your in-school clubs! Volunteers, make plans to start a project group in your community? 4-H’ers, plan a project you can do around your home/neighborhood while keeping social distancing in mind… make masks, shop for neighbors, check on friends, support those on the front-line! Be creative! Use your time well.

This is the time for us to make the best better of a difficult situation. Be resilient. Things will get better. We have to be patient and follow the guidelines put forth by the experts. In the meantime, stay home, help save lives and make good use of your time.