Power of YOUth has major impact

Power of YOUth has major impact South Dakota 4-H members and volunteers invested some 258,780 hours in community service last year in South Dakota, a South Dakota State University Extension assistant said.

Matt Gunderson, Extension assistant for Youth Development/4-H, said that's a big impact on the state if local governments had been required to purchase those services from private industry.

"If you calculated this at the minimum wage of $5.15 per hour, your total dollar amount would be $1,332,717," Gunderson said. Gunderson said that big investment in South Dakota came about through the Power of YOUth campaign, which promoted community service and community vitality as one way of marking the 4-H Centennial in 2002.

Some 1,400 youth and adults invested hundreds of volunteer hours to help make their communities better places to live. More than 550 youth and adult

volunteers completed 100 hours or more of community service. Projects ranged from visiting the elderly and putting together "I Care Kits" for the needy, Gunderson said, to helping in parks and cleaning road ditches.

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