Touch the Heart of Texas – Be an Extension Volunteer!
More than 104,000 Texas Extension volunteers do the hard work and the “heart work” of educating youth and adults throughout this great state, dedicating themselves to taking action and solving problems in their communities. These folks have a positive impact on the future of our country. In 2009, these volunteers made more than three million direct teaching contacts and contributed more than four million hours of service. That’s equivalent to 2,140 full-time employees, and a value of $82 million to the state of Texas.
You too can join Extension’s volunteer force and put your knowledge and skills to work as part of the largest grassroots educational organization in Texas, the Texas AgriLife Extension Service. You will learn a lot, meet new people and have fun while you are helping your community.
Extension offers programs in agriculture and natural resources, family and consumer sciences, 4-H and youth development, and community development, reaching rural and urban Texans with research-based information they need to improve quality of life and to build a bright future for our state.
Why volunteer with Extension?
Volunteers are the real heart and hands of many different Extension programs, extending our reach into every community and every neighborhood in Texas. Extension volunteers help people gain knowledge and skills that will benefit them for life. In return, volunteers improve their own skills while having the satisfaction of knowing they are making a difference for their friends and neighbors.
Recent years have brought exponential growth to the population of Texas. Volunteers multiply the efforts of Extension and are essential to fulfilling our mission of improving the lives of people, businesses, and communities across Texas and beyond through high-quality, relevant educational programs. What about your community? Extension needs your help!
What do Extension volunteers do?
Extension volunteers lead activities, teach lessons, answer questions, and organize events. And along the way, they gain new skills, make new friends, and have fun, too! Volunteers help adults and kids learn about:
- Staying healthy
- Gardening for health and leisure
- Building strong families and relationships
- Managing money
- Protecting the environment
- Reducing stress
- Agricultural production
- Keeping food safe to eat
- Getting ready for a job
- and much more!
Volunteers also work with young people in the 4-H and Youth Development Program, providing them with real-life experiences and an opportunity to plan their own learning, while developing life skills. This is accomplished with parents and other caring adults who guide the youth and evaluate their accomplishments. Volunteers for 4-H can be advisors and managers for 4-H clubs, leaders and teachers for subject-matter lessons, and coaches for special skills activities.
How much time will volunteering take?
Volunteering with Extension can be short- or long-term. You can decide what fits your schedule and other responsibilities.
Do I need special knowledge or specific experience to volunteer?
No, just bring your own life experiences, and we will add to that knowledge-base. Extension is looking for enthusiastic people who are ready to make a difference in our communities.
Much of the work Extension volunteers do grows out of their own interests and experience; however, volunteers also receive training from educators in each field. Volunteers can improve their own skills while helping others.
How do I sign up?
To find out about the volunteer opportunities available in your community, contact your county office of Texas AgriLife Extension Service.