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Extension Homemakers Blog

Hats Off to Extension Homemakers in Arkansas

by Eva Marie Pearson - April 12, 2017

May is the month in which the spotlight is placed on Extension Homemakers in Arkansas. However, their presence is felt in their communities throughout the year.

Nancy Rosen sewing
Nancy Rosen participates in a crafts class in Jefferson County, one of many held throughout the state that helps to preserve heirloom crafts. (Photo Courtesy of Debbie James)

May is Extension Homemakers Month in Arkansas. This is a perfect time to share the story of Extension Homemakers/Home Demonstration work in Arkansas – an oftentimes well-kept secret.

Special events, activities and recognitions to note the month are also encouraged. Proclamations on the county and local levels to mark the observance would be appropriate, recognizing 105 years of “Splendid Work.”

On the state level, Gov. Asa Hutchinson has proclaimed May as Extension Homemakers Month in Arkansas.

For the 100-year anniversary in 2012, I created a list of more than 100 ways to celebrate the Centennial. Some were quite elaborate, costing money, while others require little time and effort and no expense.

teaching doll made of cloth
Hundreds, if not thousands, of teaching dolls are created each year by Extension Homemakers for use in helping children.

I have refined that list to 30 ways clubs and councils can mark the 2017 observance of May as Extension Homemakers Month in Arkansas.

If your club or council participates, I would love to hear about it. A brief article and photographs for consider for posting on the blog will be appreciated.

Your family and consumer sciences agent has received a proclamation, instructions on how to localize it and a press release that can be localized. The proclamation, instructions and press release are also available by emailing me at

Thirty Ways to Celebrate Extension Homemakers Month in Arkansas

1. Create a celebration cake featuring the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council logo and invite the community and media to share it.

2. Coordinate with the county judge and mayors in your county to acknowledge Extension Homemakers Month. Publicize the proclamations in available media.

3. Give a scholarship to a Family and Consumer Sciences major from your county.

4. Host a cooking demonstration featuring recipes from Extension Homemakers in the area. With each recipe have the contributor share what Extension Homemakers has meant to him or her.

5. Develop a display for use at appropriate venues such as the local library, historical society or museum, featuring local and state Extension Homemakers projects throughout as examples of service.

6. Write an article highlighting what Extension Homemakers has accomplished locally and statewide and why Extension Homemakers remains relevant today.

7. Furnish a room in a women's shelter.

8. Adopt a needy family for a year, a month or a special holiday.

9. Provide a 4-H camp scholarship.

10. Sponsor a hands-on canning workshop.

11. Provide child care during group therapy sessions at a women's shelter.

12. Hold a homecoming event for all present and former Extension Homemakers members.

13. Present a hands-on crafts workshop.

14. Hold an Extension Homemakers flu inoculation day and encourage those most vulnerable to participate.

15. Knit, crochet or otherwise make mittens, scarves or socks to be given away as part of a community service project.

16. Plant a plot using heritage seeds and plants.

17. Ask each Extension Homemaker to share memories of her time in the organization. Set aside a time at a club meeting share them.

18. Send a box of goodies to the military stationed overseas.

19. Place children's clothing in a variety of sizes and toiletries in totes and provide them for youngsters who may be taken from their homes in emergency situations.

20. Hold a baby shower and give the proceeds to a maternity center.

21. Sponsor a series of sewing workshops for the community.

22. Sponsor a seminar that raises the awareness of Internet fraud, scams and identity theft.

23. Contribute 105 cans or pounds of nonperishable food to a food bank.

24. Sponsor a clean-up day in local neighborhoods.

25. Sponsor an AARP Driver Safety Program for drivers 50 and older.

26. Make 105 teaching dolls for use by local hospitals or the Arkansas Children's Hospital at Little Rock.

27. Make a cash contribution to the Red Cross, Salvation Army or another local charity

28. Prepare comfort kits for distribution by local shelters, hospitals or the Red Cross.

29. Adopt a local family who has a child in a hospital.

30. Donate items to a local thrift shop.