几个月前，俄亥俄州立大学推广计划宣布将开始要求参与 4-H 计划的志愿者进行背景调查。这些支票是根据新的大学规定实施的，预计每人花费 28 至 35 美元。这是一个很好的举措，因为俄亥俄州立大学正在采取措施保护儿童，他们在 4-H 计划中与成人导师进行了大量的一对一交流。然而，有些人担心支票的财务方面会引起家长和社区成员的犹豫，从而导致全国以农业为重点的领导力建设计划的地方分会的志愿者人数下降。
不过，至少在俄亥俄州的一个县，俄勒冈州立大学 4-H 扩展计划的志愿者不必担心为自己的背景调查付费。根据当地出版物Chillicothee Gazette 的报道，罗斯县的专员已提议为他们县的每个 4-H 志愿者进行背景调查。该决定有点令人惊讶，因为该县并不直接负责要求进行背景调查。事实上，罗斯县与 OSU 扩展计划或 4-H 计划没有任何直接关系，除了一些 4-H 志愿者住在该地区这一事实之外。
然而，根据委员们的说法，这一举措只是为了让青年服务 4-H 计划的志愿者人数保持在较高水平。在Chillicothee Gazette发表了一篇详细介绍 OSU 的新要求以及它们如何阻止一些志愿者的故事后，罗斯县的委员会刚刚聚在一起，决定与 4-H 合作“消除相关的财务障碍”。
财务障碍只是可能吓跑潜在志愿者的新要求的一部分。注重隐私的志愿者可能根本不愿意接受背景调查，而另一个要求——要求所有 4-H 志愿者参加虐待儿童意识课程——可能会使 4-H 的志愿工作变得更加困难。时间投入超出了许多人的承受能力。然而，多亏了罗斯县县长的慷慨解囊，至少家长和社区成员不会因为钱而不愿参加志愿服务。
听上去，4-H志愿者背景调查的费用也不会由纳税人买单。相反，罗斯县的专员将自掏腰包支付支票。一位委员甚至称赞当地的 4-H 计划是“伟大的……如果不是最好的”，并表示委员们只是想表达他们对该计划为青年参与者所做的贡献的感谢。这一特殊举动无疑是一种强烈的赞赏。
In at least one Ohio county, though, volunteers with OSU's 4-H extension program won't have to worry about paying for their own background checks. According to the Chillicothee Gazette, a local publication, Ross County commissioners have offered to cover the background checks for every 4-H volunteer in their county. The decision is a somewhat surprising one, since the county is not directly responsible for requiring the background checks. In fact, Ross County is not really directly associated with the OSU Extension program or the 4-H program in any way, other than the fact that some 4-H volunteers live in the area.
However, according to commissioners, this move just felt like one that was necessary to keep volunteer numbers high for the youth-serving 4-H program. After the Chillicothee Gazette published a story detailing the new OSU requirements and how they might deter some volunteers, Ross County's board of commissioners just got together and decided to work with 4-H to "eliminate the associated financial obstacle."
The financial obstacle is merely one part of the new requirements that might scare potential volunteers away. Privacy-minded volunteers might not be willing to submit to a background check at all, and another requirementâ€”one which calls for all 4-H volunteers to take a child abuse awareness classâ€”might make volunteering for 4-H more of a time commitment than many can afford. However, thanks to the generosity of the county commissioners in Ross County, at least parents and community members won't be deterred from volunteering just because of money.
From the sounds of it, the bill for the 4-H volunteer background checks won't be footed by taxpayers, either. Instead, Ross County's commissioners will be paying for the checks out of their own pocket. One commissioner even praised the local 4-H program as "greatâ€¦if not the best," and said that the commissioners just wanted to show their appreciation for what the program does for youth participants. This particular move certainly is a strong show of appreciation.