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The uniqueness of today brings forth a changing world with new opportunities to grow.  Individuals are seeking ways to help make positive changes in themselves, in each other, and in their communities.  One way people are finding to make these changes is through volunteering their time, skills, and support with 4-H.  4-H volunteers are the caring adult role models that utilize a learn-by-doing approach to help youth evolve into more creative, independent, and forward thinking leaders.

4-H volunteers serve in a variety of capacities based on their interests, skills, and time constraints. Some serve as club leaders for our local 4-H clubs. Other volunteers help with organizing events, judging competitive events, and serving as advisors on boards and committees.  Because 4-H offers such a wide variety of events and activities, there are opportunities that can fit every individual’s personal goals, schedules, and needs.

New World, New Opportunities

Opportunities for people to volunteer have evolved even further in today’s world.  Everyone has always considered volunteering as an “in-person” role.  Although the in-person volunteer is still very much in demand and invaluable to the 4-H organization, another volunteer role has emerged – the virtual volunteer.  With the covid-19 pandemic, the role of the virtual volunteer has made it possible for many more individuals that normally could not volunteer in-person, be able to contribute their talents and time.  Whereas covid-19 may have restricted physical distancing, the internet has removed geographical limitations and opened doors to new volunteer roles for a larger, more diverse audience.

The virtual 4-H volunteer is an exciting alternate opportunity for many.  The goals of creating a safe environment, promoting a sense of belonging, and teaching youth essential life skills are still the primary goals of the virtual 4-H volunteer.  The only main difference in opportunity is the delivery mode.  Through new, modernized delivery modes such as virtual club meetings, social media outlets, and pre-recorded sessions, the traditional 4-H program has become more current and efficient for the modern youth and his/her family as well as the volunteers, allowing additional opportunities to expand the 4-H program.  Some 4-H programs have been converted to online programs to continue providing quality programming and meet the needs of all individuals.  4-H has been and continues to be a program that is available to young people in all U.S. states, U.S. territories and U.S. military installations worldwide, regardless of gender, race, creed, color, religion, or disability.  Regardless if an individual chooses to become an in-person or virtual 4-H volunteer, the mission of every 4-H volunteer is the same – to help ignite a spark in each youth to find what inspires them in order to carry out 4-H’s belief in “making the best better.”

It’s Time to Become a 4-H Volunteer!

There is no need to let the pandemic stop you from engaging in giving back when you have the opportunity to make a difference in your own community –in-person or virtually!  4-H is always seeking positive adult role models to serve in a variety of ways.  Volunteers have the flexibility to determine the amount of time given, location and subject area they prefer.  Volunteers will receive full assistance from their local 4-H Office to include trainings, office support, resources, and materials.

To learn more about becoming a 4-H volunteer, please contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org.

*“Please note some pictures were taken prior to our challenges with Covid-19 and we remind people to social distance and wear a mask for the personal safety of self and others.”

 

 

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