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National Volunteer Week salutes volunteers in Vermont

Each year, thousands of volunteers inVermont 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 National Volunteer Week, April 18-24, 2004. Club volunteers are only one group of leaders across the state who are instrumental in carrying out the mission of the Vermont Cooperative Extension Service. They are involved in every aspect of the county extension service, including determining the needs of the residents, planning programs, securing resources and evaluating programs. The example of adult volunteers turning out to help strangers affected by the September 11 attacks made a big impression on children and teens. In fact, nine out of 10 kids who responded to a National 4-H Council survey taken shortly after the attacks said they are more likely to volunteer and get involved in their community after seeing, reading, and hearing about others who volunteered after the September terrorist attacks. Heroes make personal sacrifices. Volunteers do this frequently, giving their time, their money, and their talents to help others. Heroes do things that are difficult or impossible. A heroic volunteer hangs on even when the task is not at all easy. For example, a volunteer tutor may face resistance or even hostility from the children he or she is trying to help. But with perseverance, the tutor finally wins the childs trust and eventually makes a difference in that childs life. Heroes are courageous. Volunteers frequently take brave and lonely stands to advocate for causes they believe in. are strong. Volunteers who give their time to civic causes often are strengthened by their desire to battle injustices that are beyond their own self-interest. When these volunteer-heroes work with young people, the kids learn some important lessons about how one individual can make a difference.

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