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 6-13, 2014.
One group that relies heavily on volunteers is the New Jersey 4-H Youth Development Program. There are nearly 2,400 adult volunteers who have served as club leaders, project leaders, resource leaders and judges throughout New Jersey over the past year.
“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, State 4-H agent with Rutgers Department of 4-H Youth Development.
Volunteers spend numerous hours working on tasks, such as assisting with 4-H events; organizing club activities; serving as camp counselors; conducting workshops and events; helping children with 4-H projects; or leading a community service project.
4-H volunteers across New Jersey 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 on an age appropriate basis without regard to race, color, national origin, sex, religion, sexual orientation or disability.
The work of 4-H volunteers is continuous. Each day a volunteer lends a helping hand to provide learning opportunities for the youth 4-H members involved in the New Jersey 4-H Program.