Volunteers play a vital role in supporting 4-H youth clubs and programming.  University of Illinois Extension’s 4-H youth development program honors its 6,000 volunteers during National Volunteer Week, April 18-24.

“Our volunteers guide our 4-H members in every way,” says Patricia McGlaughlin, University of Illinois Extension 4-H volunteer youth development specialist. “Youth are making a difference in local, state, national, and global issues and none of that would be possible without our volunteers.”

LaSalle County 4-H is taking this opportunity to celebrate each and every volunteer that supports 4-H Clubs and Extension youth programs. “We could not do what we do and make such a positive impact within our communities without the support and leadership of our 4-H volunteers,” stated Toni Pienta, LaSalle County 4-H Youth Development Coordinator.  “I rely on our volunteers as an informational resource as well as to lead our youth. Their passion, skills and time are invaluable.” LaSalle County 4-H Volunteers will be honored at a Volunteer Appreciation event Saturday, April 24 at the University of Illinois Extension office, LaSalle County. Volunteers will enjoy a light brunch while participating in motivational activities and take home a special appreciation gift.

4-H clubs and programs benefit from volunteers, but volunteers also benefit from the volunteering experience; gaining skills in teaching, leadership, and communication that are useful in their work and lives. 

“Most of our volunteers report that they gained useful skills, increased their confidence, and made connections in the community,” says McGlaughlin. “Volunteering is a two-way street in 4-H. Volunteers give to the clubs, but the clubs really give right back.”

There’s no one path to volunteering with 4-H. Ways to volunteer could include leading or beginning a local or special interest club, teaching a skill through workshops, judging projects at fairs and competition, planning or helping at 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 help impact today’s youth. For more information on 4-H and becoming a 4-H volunteer, contact your local Illinois Extension office.

The Mission of University of Illinois Extension is to provide practical education you can trust to help people, businesses and communities solve problems, develop skills and build a better future. University of Illinois Extension provides equal opportunities in programs and employment. Visit our website at https://extension.illinois.edu/blmp

If you have questions or need more information, please call University of Illinois Extension- Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall, Putnam Unit Office at 815-224-0889. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate, please indicate by contacting the Extension office. Extension offices are located in Princeton, Ottawa, Henry and in Oglesby on the IVCC campus.