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Making our community a better place

By By Beth Randall / 4-H youth agent
April 18, 2004
What does it take to make our community a better place to live? I think the answer is people working together for a common goal. It has been my experience as a 4-H youth agent that we have caring adults working together for a common goal and that is to help young people.
This week will be National 4-H Volunteer Week, a time to recognize our dedicated volunteers for a job well done. A recent survey showed the average volunteer working in the 4-H program gives 220 hours a year.
Adults in Lauderdale County volunteer in many ways. Of course I want to salute our 4-H club leaders who meet monthly with 4-H clubs giving guidance to 4-H'ers. These people are truly the heart of 4-H. The 4-H program would not run smoothly without the support of other volunteers.
A big thank you goes out to our advisory board members, guest speakers, workshop presenters, project helpers, trip chaperones, contest judges, 4-H donors and other resource supporters.
Another group that assists with 4-H activities is the 4-H Advisory Council. This 20-member board provides leadership for the county's 4-H program. Our dedicated Advisory Council meets quarterly and gives input for programming, provides recognition for 4-H'ers, and supports many activities and events.
Our youth are very fortunate to have dedicated adults who care so much that they give their time and sometimes their money to see that 4-H'ers succeed.
I feel so lucky to work in a county that has such dedicated 4-H volunteers. Thanks a million for all you do.
If you would like to be a 4-H Volunteer Leader, please call my office at 482-9764 for more information.
Below is a poem that I feel defines a volunteer leader.
4-H Leaders
Somewhere between the sternness of a parent and the comradeship of a pal is that mysterious creature we call a 4-H leader.
These leaders come in all shapes and sizes, and may be male or female. But they all have one thing in common a glorious twinkle in their eyes!
4-H leaders are found everywhere at judging contests, fairs, square dances, and talent shows. They always are preparing for, sitting through, participating in, or recuperating from a meeting of some kind.
They are tireless consumers of muffins, expert at taking knots out of thread, peerless coaches, and spend hours on the telephone.
A 4-H leader is many things an artist making a float for the Fourth of July, a doctor prescribing for an underfed calf, a counselor at camp, a lawyer filling out reports, and a shoulder to cry on when that dress just won't fit. Nobody else is so early to rise and so late to get home at night. Nobody else has so much fun with so many boys and girls.
We sometimes forget them, but we can't do without them. They receive no salary, but we can never repay them.
They are angels in aprons, saints in straw hats. Their only reward is the love of the kids and the respect of the community. But when they look around them at the skills they've taught, and the youth they've built, there's an inner voice from somewhere that says, "Well done."
Author unknown

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