By Woodard, Dale on August 28, 2020.
Julie Ketchmark is already used to lending a hand and giving back.
On Thursday afternoon, the 17-year-old gave back in a way that will help many in need.
Ketchmark, a member of the Lomond 4-H Group, donated her calf, Mangus, to Wood’s Homes, a total of 550 pounds of meat to feed local families.
“I’ve always had a passion for helping youth that are less fortunate than I am, so this is a very easy choice,” said Ketchmark, who knew a young male who needed to use a youth shelter similar to Wood’s Homes and knew how much it meant to him. “I’ve always been around people who have encouraged giving to those who are less fortunate than I am. My mother, father and grandparents have all been very supportive of that.”
Weighing roughly 1,400 pounds, Mangus was a unique animal for Ketchmark.
“He was one the first wild one I had tamed. We usually use bucket animals, which are tame ones.”
Ketchmark’s donation followed in the footsteps of her 12-year-old sister Eva, who made a similar donation to the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen on Aug. 8.
Having known her since she was younger, Lomond 4-H Club leader Marie Logan said Thursday’s donation was typical of Julie.
“It’s fantastic when kids realize they can be a part of the community and give back,” said Logan. “Julie has been a long-term member of the 4H Club and she is the kid that if we were catering a wedding or cooking hamburgers for a sports day or cleaning up a village or highway cleanup, she’s always there. She has done multiple projects and she is a very accomplished public speaker. She has won a lot of competitions. So she has a really good skill and has been a great member of 4H. She has really adopted the idea she is going to make a difference.”
The Lomond 4-H Club also made a $250 donation to Wood’s Homes to help purchase a freezer to store some of the beef in, which will be used to make meals for shelter clients. The balance will be distributed to their Housing First and Family Connection clients.
“It’s so important to us,” said Kelsey DesRoche, team leader for the Housing First program at Wood’s Homes. “Between our three programs, we probably have over 100 families and youth we work with that access support such as the food bank and grocery carts from us. So having a donation like this definitely helps to supplement those other programs for our clients directly.”
DesRoche noted the likes of Ketchmark and the Lomond 4H Group giving back in a time of pandemic.
“It’s amazing, especially an organization that works with you to have other youth that gives back to us,” she said. “It’s just inspiring to know there are young people out there that are thinking of us and in these times of COVID, people have been really creative in how they are able to donate to us and this is one amazing example of how people have been able to do that with us.”
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