Each year, thousands of volunteers in New Jersey donate their time and energy to make their communities a better place to live. These volunteers will be among the millions across the country who will be spotlighted during National Volunteer Week, April 10-16, 2011.
One group that relies heavily on volunteers is the Cumberland County 4-H Program. This year, over 200 volunteers, both young and old, have served as club leaders, project leaders, resource leaders and judges.
Volunteers are the backbone of the 4-H program. They provide the guidance and support that helps 4-H boys and girls in grades K-13 (one year out of high school) develop confidence and valuable life skills, says Jeannette Rea-Keywood, County 4-H Agent.
Volunteers spend numerous hours working on tasks, such as helping conduct 4-H events, organizing club activities, helping children with 4-H projects or leading a community service project.
4-H Leaders’ Association President and leader of the Hoof Beats 4-H Club, Linda Costello of Port Norris says “I am a strong supporter of the Cumberland County 4-H Program. I take part in 4-H activities as often as possible because I love being around the youth of today and sharing with them experiences that they may remember for years to come. Volunteering in a program that connects with youth in their formative years is gratifying to me and helps keep me young at heart. Since the success of 4-H is dependent on volunteers, I would urge anyone with a moment to spare, to become involved. It is an extremely rewarding experience!”
4-H leaders are only one group of volunteers across the state who are instrumental in carrying out the mission of the 4-H Youth Development Program of Rutgers Cooperative Extension, a unit of the New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station. The 4-H program offers educational programs to all youth grades K-13 (one year out of high school) on an age appropriate basis without regard to race, color, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation or disability. Volunteers are involved in every aspect of the county 4-H program, including determining the needs of the youth, planning programs, securing resources and evaluating programs.
An example of this is the 4-H Advisory Committee. The 24 member board, which consists of elected and appointed citizens, works with the county 4-H agent to plan and oversee the educational, promotional and financial aspects of the 4-H program.
The work of 4-H volunteers is continuous. Everyday a volunteer is lending a helping hand to provide learning opportunities for the youth of Cumberland County.
Volunteers are always needed and welcome. If you would like more information
on how you can become involved in the Cumberland County 4-H Program call the 4-H Center at (856) 451-2800 ext #3.
4-H is a community of young people across America learning leadership, citizenship and life skills!