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Most important gift

June 20, 2012
The Daily News

All of us were once a child, have children, or are possibly thinking of having children.

One way or another children affect our lives and they will one day grow up to be the next generation, the choice makers, care takers, the people who make our world go round, so wouldn't it be a great idea to take a few minutes to reflect on just we can assure that these children are given every possibility to become a positive influence on the world around us?

Parents do the best they can to teach them and guide them and the schools try to educate them on matters of the world but there are other things that children need to learn.

They need time, away from school, to interact with other children. They need to learn how to socialize, accept, and respect others.

They need to learn how to form or be a part of a team, relying on one another to make the project a success (even if you have some difficulties with some of the people involved).

They need to learn to be a part of the community and how to give of themselves to improve that community. They also need to have some good, clean fun, whether that be animals, crafts art, writing, etc. Maybe it involved an outing to a place of fun and/or education or volunteering somewhere.

4-H offers all this, and so much more, to the youth of Iron County and across the state. It takes a lot of time and commitment to become a leader in 4-H and not everyone is up to making that commitment to be available time wise. Lives are busy and people have other things that need their attention.

Everyone understands that. What they might not realize is that there are so many other facets of 4-H where volunteers are priceless assets. You do not necessarily have to have any contact with youth to be a valuable resource to them.

A 4-H volunteer might be offering to help in the office a few hours a week, maybe they are willing to manage the food booth at the fair, maybe help with the registrations for the fair, or be a presence in the office at the fair to oversee any problems that might occur.

Maybe they can help with getting newsletters and other information out or help organize an outing or event.

In a time where everyone is seeking your financial donations and it seems like you are always robbing Peter to pay Paul, maybe can you take a breath and know that it is possible to give (generously, I might add) to the community without ever touching your check book.

As I age, I have come to realize that often the most important gift one gives is their time.

You hear that all the time but one day you realize that this statement is true. Children do not want our money (although it may seem like this).

They want your time. They want to know they matter and they are worth those few minutes of your time.

It is your smile, your listening attentively, your suggestions, your helping hand, your laughter, your support. It is those memories the at will help them learn the true values of life while instilling a sense of belonging and value.

If you are volunteering in a fashion where you do not have direct contact with the children you are still freeing up time for someone else to dedicate to that time to the youth. It all matters.

4-H could really use some of those support type volunteers and I hope you will give it some thought and contact Adrien Brzoznowski at the local 4-H office at (906) 875-0604 or email her at to see what you can do for us.

A Proud Volunteer 4-H Leader,

Cheryl Wescher

Iron River



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