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State Honoree

Photo of State Honoree Cole Jacobsen

Cole Jacobsen

Nebraska

Cole Jacobsen, 13, of Wisner, Neb., a member of Cuming County 4-H in Wisner and a seventh-grader at Wisner-Pilger Public Schools at Wisner, constructed more than 180 wooden card holders to make it easier for residents of a dozen nursing homes in three counties to play cards with friends and family. For the past two summers, Cole has spent one day a week playing cards with seniors at a local nursing home. One of the residents, a diabetic man with one arm and one leg, needed a card holder to participate. "I realized how important this small piece of adaptive equipment is to him," said Cole, "and thought more people who suffered from a stroke, diabetes, arthritis or other illness might also benefit from having a card holder."

After the activity directors of several nursing homes confirmed the need for card holders, Cole bought over $200 worth of supplies with money from 4-H county fair winnings and a job stacking wood. He also appealed to his community for donations of wood through flyers and a message in a church bulletin. With more than 50 pounds of wood to work with, Cole cut, sanded and stained each piece, and applied felt to the bottoms. He then delivered more than 180 finished card holders to 12 nursing homes. "I learned that anything can be accomplished if you set a goal, form a plan, and work hard," said Cole. "Even with a small budget, you can touch many lives."