The $24 for ‘24 Promise The idea came from California member Eugene Fletcher. “I grew up as a Grange baby…” Fletcher said, noting that the 2019 convention “was the first year I actually started to fully understand what the Grange stands for.” Fletcher said he saw youth from high school age through early adulthood, from college students to young parents, “who all put time aside to be a part of something greater – something bigger than themselves.” “I saw this and connected it with my personal life experiences and tried thinking of a simple way to help make sure the Youth program has that opportunity to give so many life changing experiences, lessons, and leadership skills for many years to come. Youth is our future. We, the youth, are your future.” He said he hopes the initiative will spark many years’ worth of funds raised for the department with at least 20,000 members giving $24 each.
Where the money goes
For about $15,000 annually, the National Grange Youth Ambassadors and Outstanding Young Patrons attend an annual planning meeting, the dates of which typically align with National Ag Day in Washington, D.C., which they take part in, as well as regional conferences and National Convention with funds from the Grange Foundation’s Youth Leadership Fund. Additionally, each year Youth Officer Team members are able to attend National Grange Convention with their rooms, registration, a meal and the Youth tour paid from that same pool of donor funds. While this is not guaranteed, as noted in the Youth Program Handbook, it has been an important way to ensure the intergenerational interactions are happening to strengthen the organization and that young members receive leadership training to ensure the future of the Grange. “Without funding available to cover the costs of rooms, our young people would struggle to pay hundreds of dollars to attend in addition to getting time off of work or school,” Bostwick said.