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Student plans 'Operation Kick Me Out of My Bedroom'

Colby Weishaar, a Nortonville, Kan., 4-H member and seventh grade student, initiated a food drive as his 4-H Citizenship Project. He set a goal--enough donations to cover his bedroom floor--but has gathered more than 2,100 non-perishable food items and $1,000 in donations to benefit three food pantries serving residents in Jefferson County. (Courtesy photo.)

Kids can be creative, especially when it comes to excuses for not cleaning their room. But, if you think you've heard everything, read on.

Colby Weishaar is 12; he's in the seventh grade, and active in school and community activities, including Kansas 4-H.

He lives in Nortonville, in northeast Kansas, and proposed a local, canned food drive to gather enough non-perishable foods to cover the floor of his bedroom as his 4-H community service project for the year.

Weishaar chose a name--"Operation Kick Me Out of My Bedroom"--that provided a vision for his goal, and composed an appeal letter that he sent to 100 area businesses, Jefferson County 4-H clubs, and extended family and friends.

The response to date, more than 2,100 non-perishable food items and $1,000 in donations to buy additional food, has covered the bedroom floor, filled the room, and is now filling up the family's basement.

The project has exceeded his and his family's expectations.

Weishaar said he choose a food drive because new food pantries have opened in the county.

"Giving back to the community is an important part of being a good citizen, and an important part of what I have learned--and practiced--as a 4-H member," said Weishaar, who dedicated the food drive to Dee Rule, former Jefferson County 4-H Citizenship Project leader who passed away from cancer.

The seventh grader has participated in a variety of 4-H projects and also is at ease working in the garden, taking photos, showing cattle--and giving a speech.

He'll continue the food drive until June, when non-perishable foods and cash donations will be distributed to three Jefferson County, Kan., food pantries: God's Storehouse in Meriden; Valley Falls Food Pantry in Valley Falls, and Pantry of Hope in Nortonville.

Weishaar is a member of the Lucky 4 4-H Club, and the son of Rob and Bridget Weishaar.

Date: 4/22/2013


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