Extension honors its volunteers

PRINCETON — The efforts of more than 400 Bureau County area volunteers were recognized last week during the National Volunteer Week sponsored by the University of Illinois Extension program.

Jennifer Caldwell, 4-H and Youth Development Program coordinator for Bureau, LaSalle, Marshall and Putnam counties, said that 400 number of regular, sustained volunteers does not include persons who also volunteer occasionally with the local Extension for specific programs or needs. All volunteers are needed and appreciated, she said.

People are basically never too young or too old to volunteer through the Extension. The local Extension program has youth volunteer opportunities through the 4-H program which starts at age 5. The Extension has numerous senior citizens who also volunteer their time, she said.

In looking at the current Extension programs, Caldwell said volunteers serve the Extension in many ways, including as members of advisory or planning committees, with fundraising and financial support, by delivering programs in their communities, and managing and training additional volunteers. Volunteers are involved at some level in nearly every program offered by University of Illinois Extension.

“The University of Illinois Extension is grateful for the support of our local volunteers, who provide an improved quality of life for the local community through their service, and who allow the Extension to make their programs and services available to people throughout the state and around the world,” Caldwell said.

Looking ahead to future volunteer opportunities, Caldwell said the Extension will work with people to help determine their interests and abilities and to place them in a good-fitting volunteer position. There is also a background check and a screening
process for all volunteers, she said.

“We are always looking for people who enjoy serving their community and want to help
the Extension in addressing the needs of the local community,” Caldwell said.

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