Having always lived in Brock, Nebraska, Margaret Piper has strong roots and great care for the people. Brock, a town of less than 200, does not offer many constructive things for children to do, leaving a gap of activities between school and the arrival of parents home from work. Seven years ago, Ms. Piper saw this deficit and took action. She developed an outstanding youth diversion Kid’s Club for kids ages 5 through 14 to help build assets and character in the children. Blending these age groups together regularly is demanding, but she and her helpers have given these youth something challenging, creative and worthwhile to do with their time and energy.
Ms. Piper and her Kid’s Club developed a community garden from a weedy village lot and everyone diligently works their own space throughout the spring with vegetables to eat and sell. Ms. Piper has written several grants to support the project and has support from community members who have seen their community transformed.
As well as gardening with the Kid’s Club, Ms. Piper can be found leading meetings of her local 4-H Club, the Brock 4-H Huskers. She has been a 4-H club leader for the past 52 years. After September 11th, members of the 4-H Club voiced their concern for victims of the terrorist attacks and wanted to do their part in supporting their country. Ms. Piper and the club organized a bike-a-thon to raise money to send to the American Red Cross Salvation Army. The tireless members made pledge sheets, appointed committees and went door-to-door to find supporters. Two weeks later, 30 kids met and rode for a total of 450 miles to raise more than $1,000 to send to the two charities. These numbers are even greater considering the size of the town.
Change has been noted in the youth as Ms. Piper tirelessly uses Character Counts! To give them a feeling of being responsible, trustworthy, fair, caring, respectful and good citizens learning right from wrong. Kid’s Club is also impacting parents who are becoming more involved in their children’s lives by attending plays, programs, and meals.
Ms. Piper continuously works with youth to help them finish their 4-H records so they can gain pride in finishing what they began while also being rewarded for their hard work at the 4-H Achievement Night Celebration with scholarships to camps and other educational events. She has earned a place in the hearts of all she serves by instilling a positive vision for the future.