Mississippi 4-H recognizes volunteers and the tremendous impact they are making on our state's most critical challenges year-round. However National Volunteer Week is about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities. It's about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.

National Volunteer Week is about taking action and encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change, discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to foster positive transformation. National Volunteer Week celebrates ordinary people doing extraordinary things to improve communities across the nation. This one week highlights the enormous contributions that volunteers make every day.

The theme - "Celebrating People in Action" -- honors individuals who take action and solve significant problems in their communities. Since our nation's founding, volunteers have been the source of action and change. Two hundred and 35 years later, their energy continues to move our country forward. Advances in technology and social networking make volunteering even simpler.

Established in 1974, National Volunteer Week has grown exponentially in scope each year, drawing the support and endorsement of all subsequent presidents, governors, mayors and other respected elected officials. National Volunteer Week presents an opportunity for individuals, families, nonprofit organizations and government entities alike to celebrate the ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things through service.

National Volunteer Week embodies the energy and power volunteers evoke on a daily basis as they lead by example, not only encouraging the people they help, but motivating others to serve as well.

• Research conducted by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that 26.5percent of adult Americans volunteered 8.1 billion hours of service worth $173 billion in 2010. One group that relies heavily on volunteers is the Mississippi 4-H Program. In Mississippi over eighty-one hundred volunteers contributed 1.9 million hours of service. Mississippi 4-H volunteers gave 1.9 million hours of service worth $27,628,649 in 2012. In Neshoba County, 185 volunteers, both youth and adult, will serve as club leaders, project leaders, committee members, and in advisory capacities for the 4-H Youth Development Program.

• Volunteers spend numerous hours working on tasks, such as helping organize an event at the county fair, helping a child with a 4-H project, or leading a project to serve the community.

• 4-H Program volunteers are just one group of volunteers who are instrumental in carrying out the mission of the Mississippi State University Extension Service. Volunteers are involved in every aspect of the Extension Service, including determining the needs of the local residents, planning and implementing programs to address these needs, securing resources, and evaluating programs.

• The work of Extension volunteers is continuous. Every day volunteers lend a helping hand to make Extension programs more beneficial to the residents of Neshoba County. Those interested in joining the team of Extension Volunteers are invited to contact the Neshoba County Extension Office at (601) 656-4602.


• April 25 - Rifle and Pistol Practice, 4 p.m., Herring Property near Sandtown Methodist Church and Beason Property in Fork Community.

• April 25 - Last Day to Register for the State and District 4-H Horse Shows.

• April 25 - Neshoba County Cattleman's Association Meeting, 6 p.m., Neshoba Coliseum.

• April 27 - Southeast District 4-H Shooting Sports Competition, Harrison County.

• May 1 - 4-H Advisory Council Luncheon, Neshoba Coliseum.

Until next week, get into 4-H!