Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Thrives with Volunteers
Each year across the state of Texas, thousands of volunteers provide a valuable service to their communities. Hopkins County is no exception. The Hopkins County office of Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service utilizes volunteers in a variety of ways, as documented during the 2012 Extension Volunteer Recognition Banquet, held on November 1st.
Master Wellness Volunteers, Master Gardeners, 4-H leaders, Extension committees and tasks forces, alliance members, and episodic volunteers play an important role in helping us bring quality programs and services to Hopkins County.
Approximately 300 volunteers work with our Extension staff annually through planning, marketing, implementing, and evaluating events such as conferences, workshops, camps, program series, result demonstrations, one-shot programs, 4-H club activities, livestock shows, county-wide 4-H events, and much more.
You will be reading more in the next few weeks about the impact of these programs, but I wanted to thank all of you who have assisted in one way or the other. Many of our volunteers work behind the scenes (tray preparations for cooking schools or program series, gift bag preparations, making contacts, booklet assembly), and many work directly with clientele (4-H leaders, Master Wellness Volunteers, Master Gardeners, coalition members, committee members). Whatever the task, these volunteers provide thousands of volunteer hours.
As the new year approaches - and it seems like time is flying by! - consider serving as a volunteer in Hopkins County. If you enjoy meeting people, you might want to consider answering our office phone when our office manager is away, assisting with registration at various events, or manning an exhibit. If you enjoy making phone calls, we often have meetings where participants could use a reminder call! We also utilize volunteers to teach various classes or programs.
The 2013 Master Wellness Volunteer Training is scheduled for January and February. The training consists of 40 hours in nutrition, food safety, childhood health, working with diverse audiences, and recognizing accurate information on the internet. The trainings are scheduled for 5 consecutive Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., with a few fun assignments to finish up the 40 hour requirement. Upon completion of the course, volunteers agree to pay back 40 hours of service to the community by working with me on various projects and activities, or conducting worksite wellness events. Some employers allow and encourage their employees to attend the training to benefit their own company - that's great! We've had a school nurse, dietitian, professional in a large company, and others who have taken the training, as well as retired individuals who want to contribute to society. The cost of the course is $40 which includes all materials, refreshments, and two meals. If you would like to be part of this exciting training, contact our office at 903-885-3443.
Congratulations to Bobby McDonald, who was recognized as the 2012 Extension Supporter of the Year! He is always "Johnny on the spot" when it comes to covering Extension events on his website. Bobby is a former 4-H member and understands the importance that Texas A&M AgriLife Extension plays in our community. Thanks, Bobby!
Take time for enjoying the simple things in life - a good cup of coffee, watching old movies, or sending a note to an old friend.
Johanna Hicks, B.S., M.Ed.
Extension Family & Consumer Sciences Agent
1200-B W. Houston
P.O. Box 518
Sulphur Springs, TX 75483
903-885-3443 - phone
903-439-4909 - fax