EXTENSION CONNECTION: What are the benefits of volunteering for 4-H?

Published: Friday, January 31, 2014 at 06:15 PM.

4-H aims to teach life skills to children. We find that the program also equips kids with marketable skills, along with a sense of belonging and self-worth, which make them more apt to be successful.

The program also helps volunteers. Studies indicate that volunteers experience greater health benefits and, in some cases, individuals can combat the onset of depression simply by volunteering. Other benefits include increased social skills and an expanded social network.

4-H volunteers can make a positive difference in children's lives. This can trigger a sense of commitment, pride and accomplishment, which leads to a more positive self-image. The more positive your self-image, the more likely you are to set and accomplish positive personal goals.

As you help children develop communication and teamwork skills, you're also strengthening them in yourself. Some volunteers may open new doors for employment based on the skills they have learned and developed.

Today, when families are busier than ever and time seems limited, having a positive adult role model can truly influence children's path. Volunteering with 4-H allows these positive impacts to occur.

If you are already a 4-H volunteer, take pride in your contributions and reap the joy and benefits associated with such. If you are not a volunteer, you do not have to look far to find a perfect match for your volunteer services.

The Florida 4-H program welcomes you, and area 4-H agents are eager to help you get started!

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