I am sure that we have all heard the phrase "pay it forward."  The phrase pay it forward was made popular in 2000 with Catherine Ryan Hyde's novel and Warner Brother's film by the same name.  This concept means simply to do good works for others to repay the good that has happened to you.

I remember when I first heard this phrase; I thought that it sounded just like what happens within the 4-H program.  So many times, I have heard parents ask the person who is helping their child if they can pay them something.  The person will say, "No, when I was in 4-H I had so much help and now I just want to help someone else."  That then perpetuates itself years down the road when that 4-Her repays the kindness by passing their knowledge and skills on to another beginning 4-Her.  In 4-H, it is also passed forward by the adult leaders and volunteers who truly make this program what it is. 

According to wikiHow, one ordinary person - you or me - can make a positive difference in the world by practicing "pay it forward."  Be attentive to opportunities to help someone.  Standing in line with a quarter in your pocket while someone scrounges for the extra cents they need to pay for something?  Offer the quarter.  It needn't be something expensive or earth-shattering.  Simple acts of kindness will do. 

The clincher here is, do these random acts of kindness simply to make the world a better place.  If someone does tell you thank you, let them know that the only thanks you need is for them to help someone else in the future.  Thinking this way and looking for good things to do for others will also make you more aware of the good things that happen to you.

In this face-paced world and with the price of things these days, it's hard to think of changing the world with generous donations of time or money, but knowing that it's the little things that can make a difference in someone's day, now that we can accomplish!

4-H Enrollment Deadline  Any youth interested in signing up for 4-H must obtain an enrollment form and return it to the Purdue Extension Montgomery County Office or a 4-H leader by Feb. 15.  Enrollment forms are available at the office and from 4-H leaders.  Cloverbuds is for youth ages 4-1st grade; Mini 4-H is for 2nd graders; and, regular 4-H is for all youth in grades 3-12.  You may also enroll online at:  www.ag.purdue.edu/counties/Montgomery 

If you have any questions, please contact the Extension Office at 364-6363.  We are located at 400 Parke Ave. (on the Fairgrounds, catty-corner from Hose School) and our hours are 8 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m.-4:30 pm Monday-Friday.

Sherry Legg Young is the 4-H Youth Development Extension Educator for the Purdue Extension Montgomery County