Volunteer Help Needed

— Written By and last updated by Kerri Rayburn

Have you been thinking you need to broaden your circle of friends? Do you wonder if there’s some way you might get more involved in the community? Are you a retired teacher missing contact with kids? Are you feeling bored? Are you looking for a local cause to support? Do you need to build your resume? Would you like to make a difference? If you answered yes to any of these questions you should consider volunteering. Many organizations could benefit from the time, talent, or treasure you have to give. 4-H is no exception.

Over the past two decades we have seen a growing body of research that indicates volunteering provides individual health benefits in addition to social benefits. This research has established a strong relationship between volunteering and health: those who volunteer have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer. (Corporation for National and Community Service, Office of Research and Policy Development. The Health Benefits of Volunteering: A Review of Recent Research, Washington, DC 2007)

thankyouvolunteers-300x300Jackson County 4-H is the youth program of the N.C. Cooperative Extension and we are in search of volunteers to help grow our activities. You may remember 4-H as a program that teaches responsibility by raising an animal or basic skills such as cooking and sewing or through demonstrations and record books. All of those things are still true but we’re also offering learning experiences in leadership development, global understanding, traditional music, science, citizenship, and philanthropy. The budget for these activities comes from Jackson County, grants, and individual contributions. Right now we are seeking contributions of time. Here are some ways you can help out:

Activity Helper: Assist with 4-H clubs, after school activities, and summer programs. Contribute one-on-one and group assistance with children, help with snack, assist with supervision and lend an extra hand. No experience required except for an inclination to work with children.

Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) Program Assistant:  Supervise children on the playground before instruction begins, distribute snack, assist music instructors with student behavior & learning, take photos. No experience required. Must have an inclination to work with children. An interest or experience in traditional music is a plus.

Technology Guru:  Maintain social media presence, organize on-line photo storage, assist with blog and communications with 4-H members, and serve as an advisor for technology questions. Experience required.

Bookkeeping Assistant:  Assist with monthly reconciling of finances and financial management for grant funding. Experience required.

Public Relations Assistant:  Write and distribute press releases, produce a 4-H brochure, find current research about youth development. Some experience required.

Advisory Council Member:  Offer advice and guidance as a member of the 4-H Advisory Council or Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) Advisory Council. Serve as advocate for the 4-H program. Meet regularly. No experience required.

There are so many ways to give back and maybe one of the 4-H roles will spark your interest. Please contact me at 828.586.4009 or heather_gordon@ncsu.edu if you are interested in helping out or learning more about volunteering with Jackson County 4-H.

“Volunteer! Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can”.  Arthur Ashe