Volunteers Essential To Successful 4-H Programs
Volunteer leaders are essential to the successful delivery of 4-H programs to youth. Last year, more than 660,000 4-H volunteer leaders worked directly or indirectly with youth in the United States. In Alabama, more than 3300 volunteers helped with 4-H projects and/or programs.
Due to downsizing and economic cuts from government sources, 4-H programs will depend on help from volunteers more and more, in the coming years, says Dr. Bob Drakeford, Extension 4-H Specialist, volunteer programs.
In Alabama, we are using volunteers in a number of ways in Extension programs to benefit communities and youth. We have an active 4-H Volunteer Association which is directed by Tommy Williams of Albertville.
Four-H adult volunteers know what it means to make a difference in a young person's life. They are valuable to 4-H because they share their knowledge and skills with young people and give youths the guidance needed to grow into good, productive citizens.
People of all ages can be volunteers for 4-H, says Drakeford. Young or old men and women can become 4-H volunteers. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, working or retired businessmen and businesswomen, teachers and college students can become active volunteers.
Four-H also provides ways for older youths to become volunteer leaders for children's programs.
The average 4-H volunteer donates 220 hours per year in preparing for and teaching youth. Estimated value of the total time and resources volunteers devote to 4-H is about $1.1 billion annually.
If you are interested in becoming a 4-H volunteer leader, contact your county Extension office. If you are interested in joining the Alabama 4-H Volunteer Association, write to Tommy Williams, 1860 Courtland, Albertville, AL.