- Author: Gemma Miner
Dear 4-H Volunteer,
It's been a year, hasn't it? One year ago in April, we were all thinking hard about our capacity to deliver 4-H programming virtually. For some, the ask was too much given the realities of everyone suddenly at home: working, schooling and managing all the things. We see you; we hear you. And we understand.
Thank you for your courage to learn and try a completely new way to serve youth in your communities. Thank you for your perseverance even when things did not work the way you thought or wanted them to.
Thank you for recognizing the look in the eyes of the youth that you serve that said how much they need you right now—and for responding in whatever way you could.
Thank you for all the deep breaths that you took as you managed challenge after challenge after challenge.
Thank you for digging deeply for patience and calm even when it eluded you. Thank you for having the clarity to know when you needed a break.
Thank you for your kindness, always kindness—and for understanding that relationships are what matters most.
Your contributions to help youth in these unprecedented times has never been more critical. A recent study by the Harris Poll, found that 67% of 4-H teens report that COVID-19 has created pressures that are too much to handle. They further say that the inability to hang out with friends/family in person and conducting school online bring on their own set of unique stressors. Interestingly, 68% of these same teens report that they consider themselves resilient and have the confidence to help others cope with their mental health struggles. Thank you for providing outlets where everyone had opportunities to feel supported and contribute.
It is my hope that as we emerge from this pandemic that we are stronger, more creative, more resilient, and more kind. Know that your dedication to help youth lead happy, healthy, thriving lives made a difference to those lives that you touched.
It's your energy, dedication, talent, time and gifts that makes the impact for youth in California. We see you. We hear you. We appreciate you beyond measure.
On behalf of the University of California Statewide 4-H Youth Development Program, we thank you for all that you did and do.
Academic Coordinator for Volunteer Engagement