Volunteers are the heart of Illinois 4-H, and the University of Illinois Extension 4-H Youth Development program salutes its 13,000 volunteers during National Volunteer Week, said Patricia McGlaughlin, U of I Extension youth development specialist. Statewide, volunteers support nearly 200,000 4-H participants in Illinois. National Volunteer Week runs April 12-18.
"National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities," said McGlaughlin. "It's about demonstrating that by working together, communities have the ability to meet challenges and accomplish goals."
The Points of Light Foundation sponsors National Volunteer Week, and the 2015 theme, "Celebrate Service," aligns with the focus of Illinois 4-H Volunteers who are engaged in taking action and encouraging 4-H members to provide service to others and their community.
National Volunteer Week encourages people to be engaged in their community. 4-H volunteers are actively engaged in their communities by impacting the lives of Illinois youth, sharing time and talents with youth through 4-H clubs, Special Interest clubs, metro 4-H clubs, after-school programs and camps, McGlaughlin said. Today's 4-H youth are engaged in learning activities in the three mission mandate areas of citizenship/civic engagement; healthy lifestyles; and science, engineering and technology.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judy Mae Bingman, University of Illinois Extension Marketing and Communications Manager
Judy uses powerful words and photography to tell the Extension story. She is a skilled communication strategist and storyteller with demonstrated success in building teams and creating strong organizational brand identities that deepen Extension’s impact among key audiences, build brand loyalty, strengthen employee talent, and expand public engagement. She is a frequent conference presenter at the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents Conference and helps Extension staff across the nation tell compelling stories.