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Volunteers essential to a thriving community

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.

N.C. Cooperative Extension relies heavily on the generosity of volunteers, said Colleen Church, director Davie County Center.

In 2020, volunteers with N.C. Cooperative Extension volunteered 432,825 hours achieving 645,229 client contacts.  Their estimated value in service was $11,006,740.

In Davie County, more than 200 volunteers annually, youth and adult, help to extend research-based knowledge to the community.

“Extension volunteers are essential to our programs, and we have definitely missed working with them in our normal capacity over this past year,” Church said. “We offer volunteer training programs, such as Extension Master Gardener Volunteer and Extension Master Food Volunteer programs, and other opportunities that offer continuing education, such as 4-H and Extension and Community Association Volunteers.

“Farmers and other stakeholders are vital to our agricultural programs providing their farms and expertise for tours, workshops, demonstrations, and test plots.

“We are a small staff, but with the help of wonderful volunteers, we are able to accomplish great things together. They help us in so many ways, such as leading 4-H camps or projects to serve the community, helping organize our annual Farm Animal Day, or providing education and outreach at community events.

“Volunteers are involved in every aspect of the Extension program, including determining the needs of the local community, planning and implementing programs to address these needs, securing resources, and evaluating programs,” Church said.

The work of Extension volunteers is continuous.

Every day volunteers lend a helping hand to make Extension programs more beneficial to the residents of Davie County. To become a volunteer or to learn more, contact N.C. Cooperative Extension, Davie County Center, at (336) 753-6100.

Visit the Davie Center at davie.ces.ncsu.edu.