Once a month, there are five small groups of men and women who gather together across Sebastian County. They are the members of the Extension Homemakers Club, through the Agriculture Extension Office of Chaffee Crossing.
The Central EHC meets once a month, every third Thursday in the Conference Room of the Farmers Bank Barling branch. President Shirley Hamilton of Lavaca would like to see more people enjoy the fun and benefits that come with being a part of this club. The members of the EHC are seasoned seniors and, without new members, the numbers will eventually dwindle until the clubs fade away. That would be a sad ending for this historic organization.
Originally known as the Home Demonstration Clubs, the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council (AEHC) can be traced to its beginning as the Morrill Act of 1862 where it educated citizens on agriculture, home economics, mechanics and other professions. The 4-H Clubs emerged from this legislation in 1908. The EHC that we know today was established in 1912. These groups traveled throughout the state to educate Arkansans about growing, cooking, and preserving food. When WWI began, the EHC helped meet wartime needs by increasing food production helping American and Allied soldiers in Europe and conserving perishable products through canning, drying and preserving. The EHC, 4-H Clubs and extension offices came to the call again during WWII too.
Today’s EHC still meets and comes to answer the call again today. Monthly meetings will find members coming to the aid of local charities such as the making and assembling of stuffed animals for the children in Baptist Health (Sparks) Pediatrics. These toys are given for free to each patient in pediatrics. The group usually has a craft for members to enjoy, chosen by the month’s host or hostess who will also choose the month’s charity. And, if that wasn’t enough incentive, they have a potluck dinner after each meeting!
It only costs $8 to join the club and they collect monthly dues of one dollar. You leave each meeting with a full belly and a full heart from the difference you will be making and the new friends you will meet. If you’d like more information, call the Sebastian County Extension Offices at 479-484-7737 or you can call Shirley Hamilton at 479-674-2664. Leave Shirley a message and she will call you right back. Be part of something worthwhile. I will be there as a new member and I hope you will meet me there.