TAYLORVILLE — Volunteers play a vital role in supporting youth clubs and 4-H programming. The University of Illinois Extension 4-H Youth Development Program in Christian County honors its 4-H volunteers during National Volunteer Week, April 18-24.
“Volunteers are essential to the Christian County 4-H program,” says Christian County 4-H Program Coordinator Alexis McDowell. “Volunteers can run clubs, lead workshops and share their knowledge and skills with the next generation of young people. »
National Volunteer Week is an opportunity to recognize the ongoing impact of volunteers. “Volunteers are the lifeblood of our clubs,” says Patricia McGlaughlin, 4-H Youth Development Specialist for Volunteer Development. “On average, 4-H volunteers spend more than eight hours per month on their program. Annually, this time is worth close to $3,000 per volunteer. But the gift of their time, skills and passion is truly invaluable to the young people they support.
4-H clubs and programs benefit from volunteers, but volunteers also benefit from the volunteer experience; learn teaching, leadership and communication skills that are useful in their work and life.
“Most of our volunteers report that they learned useful skills, increased their self-confidence and made connections in the community,” says McGlaughlin. “Volunteering is a two-way street in 4-H. Volunteers give to clubs, but clubs really give back.
There isn’t just one path to volunteering with 4-H. Ways to volunteer might include leading or starting a local or special interest club, teaching a skill through workshops, judging projects at fairs and competitions, planning or assisting with events, or serving on club advisory boards.
4-H clubs are always looking for new volunteers to share a passion, skill, talent or time to impact today’s youth. For more information about 4-H and becoming a 4-H volunteer, contact the Christian County Extension Office at 217-287-7246.
About Illinois 4-H: Illinois 4-H is the University of Illinois’ flagship youth development program and is administered by the College of Agricultural, Consumer, and Food Sciences. the environment. 4-H develops true leaders, young people who are empowered for life today and prepared for a career tomorrow. 4-H’s hands-on approach gives kids tips, tools and encouragement, then puts them in the driver’s seat to make great things happen.
Independent research confirms the unprecedented impact of the 4-H experience, showing that young people are four times more likely to contribute to their community; twice as likely to make healthier choices; twice as likely to be civically active; and twice as likely to participate in STEM programs.