HOT SPRINGS – Community crafts classes and food collections were among the outstanding record book projects recognized during the annual meeting of the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council on June 7.
Three Extension Homemakers Clubs and the Jefferson County Extension Homemakers Council were among the 75 local clubs and county councils honored during the awards ceremony held at the Hot Springs Convention Center.
The 5,000-member state Council is a volunteer organization associated with the University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture. During 2011, the members contributed 478,846 hours of volunteer service statewide for an estimated value of more than $10 million.
The state Council is also celebrating the 100th anniversary of Extension Homemakers/Home Demonstration work in Arkansas.
Those honored from Jefferson County and their projects are:
Camden Road — Neighbor to Neighbor Canned Food Donations: Members collected canned food donations (especially canned meats) monthly to contribute to Neighbor to Neighbor. Each month the canned goods were collected and delivered to Neighbor to Neighbor to be distributed for those in need of food. This group provides food, clothing, financial and other assistance to thousands of good people who need a helping hand. Four members volunteered 20 hours and gave approximately $35.
Grace Willing Workers – Enriching Arkansas Convalescent Center: The Clubchose this project after visiting one of the former club members at the Convalescent Center. They make monthly visits to play Bingo and provide supplies to fill bags for the 75 residents for holidays such as Halloween, Christmas and throughout the year. The group also made hand rolls for the nurses to distribute to those patients that needed them. Other items collected were travel-size shampoo, hand lotions, facial tissues, toothpaste and lip balm to fill baskets. Twenty-seven members volunteered 124 volunteer hours and contributed $2,648.64.
Jefferson County Extension Homemakers Council – Jefferson County Craft Classes: The county Council conducted 12 craft workshops throughout the year on subjects such as wire-tied jewelry, basket weaving and sewing table runners. Most of the classes were free and none cost more than $5. Some required special guests to teach the classes, which were held in different locations, but within the city. They added to their rolls members-at-large and five new club members. Thirty-six volunteers worked on the projects with 100 volunteer hours and a contribution of $100. An average of 20 people attended each class.
White Hall Willing Workers – UAMS Kids First: The club was asked to make nine weighted blankets for autistic children attending the UAMS (University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences) Kids First day care in Pine Bluff. With 15 members of the club working they were able to make 10 blankets. Flannel and fleece fabrics were purchased to make the blankets and add some cotton fabric to make tubes to create eight tunnels to hold dried beans for the weights. The weights make the children fill more secure. Twenty-five hours were volunteered and there was an expenditure of approximately $120, as well as cleaning out everyone’s pantries for the dried beans.
Information about Extension Homemakers is available by visiting the website at arextensionhomemakers.org or calling a county Extension office.