For immediate release (November 2023) Guelph, ON: 4-H Ontario is pleased to announce that it has received funding from the Government of Canada’s Community Services Recovery Fund (CSRF), administered by the Canadian Red Cross. The majority of funding has gone toward the hiring of a one-year contract position with a focus on recruiting new volunteers, retaining current volunteers and ensuring diversity, equity and inclusion.
“Our volunteers are the very heart of 4-H and are the ones who run and manage the programs for our youth participants,” says Christine Oldfield, Executive Director of 4-H Ontario. “To ensure 4-H Ontario remains strong and vibrant, we need to make sure both our current and new volunteers are supported, trained, and recognized for their valuable contributions.
The Community Services Recovery Fund is a one-time $400 million investment from the Government of Canada that was launched to support charities and non-profits as they focus on recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I am continually impressed by the passion, dedication, and creativity of community service organizations, like 4-H Ontario,” says Jenna Sudds, Minister of Families, Children and Social Development. “I am equally proud the Government of Canada has supported their important work through the Community Services Recovery Fund. By investing in these organizations and their projects we can help to create a more just and equitable society, where everyone has opportunities to succeed. I look forward to seeing the positive impact of this investment in Ontario over the years to come.”
While 4-H Ontario volunteers, staff and youth participants pivoted quickly during the pandemic (to online programs and clubs), the organization saw a reduction in numbers of volunteers and youth. To help build back to pre-pandemic numbers, 4-H Ontario applied to the funding program to help bolster and grow the volunteer base – which has a direct effect on the number of youth able to participate.
It was determined the funds would be best used to hire a Volunteer Recruitment and Retention Advisor, and experienced 4-H staff member Faith Kirk quickly stepped up to fill this role. Faith has been a long-time employee of 4-H Ontario, a registered social worker, as well as being a strong proponent in various DEI (Diversity, Equity and Inclusion) and LGBTQ2S initiatives within the organization.
Faith will be executing a volunteer recruitment strategy that aligns with the organization’s strategic plan. As noted by Megan Burnside-Poitras, Volunteer Services and Database Manager at 4-H Ontario: “This is a fantastic opportunity for Faith to further invest her knowledge and experience in recruitment, retention, mental health, and diversity, equity and inclusion; all areas in which she has vast knowledge and an extensive skillset.”
If you are interested in becoming a volunteer at 4-H Ontario, please visit: https://4-hontario.ca/volunteers/become-a-volunteer/. If you have a child/youth aged 9-21 who is interested in learning more about becoming a participant, please visit: https://4-hontario.ca/youth/become-a-member/. We also offer a Cloverbuds program for children aged 6-8.
About 4-H Ontario:
4-H Ontario is a non-profit positive youth development organization that builds youth as leaders within their communities and as assets to the world. With roots in rural Ontario, today it is open to youth of all backgrounds across the province. 4-H youth ages 6–21 and screened, engaged volunteer leaders come together to learn about selected topics through fun hands-on activities and mentorship. There are also provincial camps, conferences, competitions and national and international travel opportunities available to further develop skills in leadership, business, self-confidence and more. 4-H provides youth with a place they can be involved, accepted, valued and heard while developing valuable skills for leadership and life.
For more information please contact:
Mary Haurilak, Communications Manager, 4-H Ontario