Janet Fox | 4/8/2006 1:22:43 AM
National Volunteer Week, slated for April 23-29, is a perfect opportunity to recognize the contributions of volunteers, according to LSU AgCenter 4-H youth volunteer expert Dr. Janet Fox.
Sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation, National Volunteer Week is about thanking one of America's most valuable assets – volunteers – and calling the public's attention to all that they do to improve our communities.
"Inspire By Example" is the 2006 theme, which reflects the power volunteers have to inspire the people they help, as well as to inspire others to serve.
"With overwhelming generosity, these volunteers share their time and talents to improve our community and help our community’s most vulnerable residents," Fox says, adding, "National Volunteer Week is the ideal time to honor volunteers who are meeting community needs around the country and to call the public's attention to their tremendous contributions."
Although volunteering benefits local communities and causes, volunteers benefit, too. Research shows individual volunteering builds self-esteem and helps people reconnect with society and communities.
Given the uncertain economy and world climate, many people find satisfaction and comfort in volunteering and serving others.
What type of volunteer opportunity would best suit you? Fox says the LSU AgCenter has a variety of opportunities available – from working with youth to sharing your unique skills through a master volunteer program, from judging a contest or event to leading educational experiences, from serving on advisory boards to assisting with educational events.
More specifically, a variety of 4-H volunteer opportunities is available, ranging from one-time commitments, such as judging a speech contest, to longer-term activities, such as teaching woodworking or rocketry.
"Even if you have a limited amount of time, there’s an opportunity for you," Fox notes. Volunteers pick the experiences that best meet their needs and fit their schedules and interests.
Sometimes potential volunteers worry about their skill levels and support. Fox says training and resource materials are available, because 4-H is part of the LSU AgCenter, which provides research-based information. Also, the Extension Service staff is available to support volunteers and match them with experienced leaders in the community.
To share your talents with the youth in your community, contact the parish LSU AgCenter extension office for more information.
For information on related youth and family topics, click on the 4-H clover at the AgCenter Web site: www.lsuagcenter.com. For local information and educational programs, contact an extension agent in your parish LSU AgCenter office.
Source: Janet Fox (225) 578-6751, or Jfox@agcenter.lsu.edu