UACES Facebook May is Extension Homemakers Month in Arkansas
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May is Extension Homemakers Month in Arkansas

Find out about this volunteer organization in Arkansas!

Nashville, Ark. – Extension Homemakers in Howard County will celebrate the contributions of their organization to the community during May as Extension Homemakers Month in Arkansas. The theme for this year’s promotion is “Enriching Home and Community.”

The Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council is an organization associated with the Cooperative Extension Service, part of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. Howard County’s Extension Homemakers Clubs (EHC) are among the 321 clubs throughout the state, with more than 3,700 members.

Their mission is to empower individuals and families to improve their lives through continuing education, leadership development, and community service.

Howard County has four clubs. Moonlighters EHC normally meets the first Tuesday of each month in the evening at the Center Point Community Center. Hillcrest EHC meets the first Thursday of each month in the evening. New Horizon EHC meets the second Monday in the afternoon. Twilight EHC Club meets the second Thursday in the afternoon. These three clubs all meet at the Howard County Extension Homemaker Educational Center in Nashville. Due to COVID-19 social distancing policies, club members are currently not meeting face to face.

However, club members have found ways to continue with volunteer projects and stay in touch during these challenging times. Clubs have been participating in “Phone a Friend Friday.” Members call friends, families, their own members, and others to encourage them in coping with the loneliness that may result from the isolation of social distancing related to the COVID-19 crisis.

Several members have been making face masks. They have made over 135 face masks which were donated locally to the surgery clinic, nursing homes, family and friends. All clubs have individual community service projects.

Through Extension Homemakers Clubs, the Cooperative Extension Service connects trusted research to the adoption of best practices in Family and Consumer Sciences including health, nutrition, money management, and personal development.

Arkansas Extension Homemakers began in 1912 as Home Demonstration Clubs. The clubs, organized by the Cooperative Extension Service, were essential for disseminating critical information for managing family resources and food safety at a time when many rural households were isolated by distance, and without modern tools such as electricity, phone service or access to libraries or other sources of life-saving knowledge.

During the 1918 flu epidemic, EHC clubs ran soup kitchens in their communities. They canned vegetables and donated surplus to families during the Great Depression and planted victory gardens to increase food supply during World War II. Before the federal school lunch program began, EHC clubs provided lunches for children in their rural communities.

“The clubs have a very long history of service,” AEHC president Karen Bell-Fox. “Times have changed, but EHC is still focused on providing education, leadership development, and service to Arkansas communities. We know we have tremendous impact in our communities, in Arkansas, and in our world, and that work will continue.”

In recent weeks, EHC clubs across the state have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by sewing and donating more than 30,000 masks to medical facilities, nursing homes, first-responders and other groups needing masks in their respective communities. They also collectively adopted food insecurity as their statewide service project and have started an online campaign to raise enough money to provide one million meals to food-insecure Arkansas families.

In 2019, EHC clubs collectively donated 705,275 hours, valued at more than $16 million. Individual clubs work on various projects throughout the year, depending on the interests of their members and the needs of their communities.

“We are always looking for new members and invite anyone interested to visit one of our meetings,” Gladine Bennett, Howard County EHC County Council President said. “It’s a great way to continue learning, to serve your community, and we also have a lot of fun along the way.”

To learn more about Extension Homemakers, contact Jean Ince at 870-845-7517 or by email jince@uaex.edu or follow us on Facebook https//www.facebook.com/HowardCountyExtensionFcs.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

 

By Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
The Cooperative Extension Service
U of A System Division of Agriculture

Media Contact: Jean Ince
County Extension Agent - Staff Chair
U of A Division of Agriculture
Cooperative Extension Service
421 N. Main St, Nashville AR 71852
(870) 845-7517
jince@uaex.edu

 

The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay.

The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.

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