Tis the Season for Volunteering
The holiday season is here! The winter months often involve family gatherings and gift sharing. This time of year is also a great opportunity to pause and teach young people about the importance of giving back to our community. Our 4-H community club program creates opportunities for youth ages 5-18 to engage in community service learning. Annually over 2.5 million 4-H community service projects take place nationally, many of those projects happen locally in our community.
Douglas County 4-H Clubs give back to our community in a variety of ways. Whether it’s volunteering serving food at L.I.N.K., collecting food for Just Food or decorating a tree for Festival of Trees it’s likely you have seen our 4-H’ers in action. A longitudinal study of 4-H Youth Development conducted by Tufts University, showed 4-H members are four times more likely to give back to their community. The study also revealed youth who volunteer throughout their adolescent years are two times more likely to volunteer and be civically engaged as adults.
Community service learning projects are teaching our youth the personal benefits of volunteering at an early age. Benefits of volunteering may include:
- Providing a sense of belonging.
- Increasing self-confidence.
- Learning a new skillset.
- Making new friends.
- Lowering stress level
Douglas County is fortunate to already have a community focused culture. Opportunities to give back to our community and enhance the lives of our fellow citizens are plentiful. As you finalize your holiday calendar, you should consider adding in a community service project to your plans. Be sure to invite your friends, family or even your coworkers to join you.