Extension work depends on volunteers

Extension work depends on volunteers

[Photo: Issuing proclamation: Howard Wallace (first row, left to right), Cathy James, Sharon Pilgrim, Angelica McDonald, Cathy Brown, Gina Daniels, Shirley Smith and Wanda Cohen; second row, commissioners Lonnie Baldwin, Allen Thomas, James Leach, Tony Hunt, and Harry Southerland. (Contributed photo)]

Each year, thousands of volunteers in North Carolina donate their time and energy to make their communities a better place to live. These volunteers will be among the millions across the country who will be spotlighted during the 47th anniversary of National Volunteer Week, April 18-24, 2021.

On Monday, April 19, the Hoke County Commissioners approved and signed a proclamation, declaring this week as Hoke County Volunteer Appreciation Week for Cooperative Extension.

North Carolina Cooperative Extension relies heavily on the generosity of volunteers. In 2020 volunteers with North Carolina Cooperative Extension volunteered 482,825 hours achieving 645,229 client contacts. Their estimated value in service was $11,006,740.

Volunteers are involved in every aspect of Extension work, including determining the needs of the local community, planning and implementing programs to address these needs, securing resources, and evaluating programs. In 2019, Hoke County had more than 400 volunteers, both youth and adult, serve in a variety of capacities helping to extend research-based knowledge to the community. Volunteers spent numerous hours working on tasks, such as helping 4-H youth with a 4-H project, leading a project to serve the community, leading a special interest or tradition club, or helping to judge a 4-H event. Along with 4-H, volunteers come together to work with third graders for Agriculture Field Day, Master Gardeners demonstrated proper pruning techniques using the roses on Main Street and planted bedding plants at the entrance of the Robert A. Wright Hoke County Agriculture Building. The quilters make more than 200 quilts, blankets and sheets annually to donate to local agencies for children and adults, and the Hoke County Beekeepers assist homeowners with collecting honey bees, plus much more.

To become a volunteer or learn more, contact Cathy James at 875-2162 or email cwjames@ncsu.edu.

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