4-H Grows Generosity
Psychology Today defined generosity as “the act of being kind, selfless, and giving to others.” In Extension and 4-H, generosity is an essential element that makes our programming possible and effective in our community. I would like to send a huge THANK YOU for the time and passion donated by our volunteers. So, in my role as an 4-H Agent, I think: “how do we build a sense of generosity in our youth?”
The Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley published in May 2018 that “children appear to have an innate drive to cooperate and to help others, but that drive is tempered as children grow older and their giving behavior becomes more selective and nuanced.” This was great news! We are by kind, selfless, and giving by nature but how do we ensure that this generosity continues to develop through 4-H programming?
Developing generosity is an essential element in 4-H and it was visible in the multiple ways just in the last few months:
- Modeling Giving: 4-H youth see generosity all around them, this program is built around the generosity of selfless adults that donate their time for the youth of our community. Just this month, we celebrated Cion Hamilton and Sue Pio for 40-years of volunteering for 4-H. Not only have they been role models for the youth but they have also made a huge impact in providing opportunities that the youth will otherwise not have.
- Practice Serving the Community: 4-H Clubs practice generosity year-round through volunteerism. Just last month, the Archery team volunteered hours of pruning, trimming, and mowing the Prarie Center, Sharon Club volunteered at My Father’s House, and the Livestock Club helped out at the American Royal National Livestock Show.
- Practice Mentorship, Friendship, and Kindness: Morning Glory 4-H Club organized a club Day Camp where the older 4-H’ers organized fun “stations” to engage the younger 4-H’ers in learning activities. The 4-H program brings together of youth ages 7-18 and it's a great opportunity for everyone to learn from one another and form lasting bonds.
- Sharing Their Passion with Others: 4-H’ers have numerous opportunities to explore their interests thanks to experienced 4-H’ers’ willingness to share their passion with others. 4-H’ers take pride in their work and they often serve as project leaders in their later 4-H careers.
4-H’ers are involved and give back to the community because they are connected, because they are raised to care about others, and see the difference they make through their work.