One way to find more joy and peace this holiday season is to immerse yourself in your community through volunteering and acts of service, according to West Virginia University Extension experts. They're offering tips for the best ways to do that with inspiration from young adults taking action to solve a major problem facing the state.
WVU Center for Community Engagement Director and Assistant Dean Kristi Wood-Turner gives insight into why service is important and how to get involved. WVU Extension 4-H Agent Luci Mosesso also details a statewide service project 4-H’ers are participating in during the coming year.
“Youths and young adults benefit from volunteering by making connections with new people, building skills, seeing new perspectives and gaining experience. We encourage students to take the opportunity to explore and give back during their time off from school. Volunteering can provide them with experiences they need to build confidence in who they are and build networks in their communities.
“No matter where you live, using iServe.wvu.edu is a great way to identify service opportunities, especially in the Morgantown area. You can also reach out to your local United Way or other nonprofit organizations to volunteer or find critical community needs, such as food or shelter, that increase during the winter. Our goal is to affect as many people as we can, so looking for community-identified diverse and unique opportunities allows us to spread our kindness as much as possible.” — Kristi Wood-Turner, assistant dean and director, WVU Center for Community Engagement
“The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the need to address food insecurity in our state, and the ‘Growing Together: 4-H Statewide Service Challenge’ does just that. Service is a well-known pillar of the 4-H program and this project highlights our members making the best better in their communities.
“West Virginia 4-H faculty developed the ‘Growing Together’ service project to help address food insecurity throughout the Mountain State. By growing vegetables to take to a local food bank, delivering meals to those who need them, volunteering time to a local pantry or organizing a food drive, West Virginia 4-H aims to help our communities and raise awareness about food insecurity in our state.” — Luci Mosesso, WVU Extension 4-H agent, Pocahontas County
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