Extension Homemakers Program Provides Members with Education and Leadership Development

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Fast facts
· Arkansas EHC has more than 3,700 members
· Arkansas EHC members have provided more than 700K volunteer hours
· Volunteer work valued at more than $16 million

The Arkansas Extension Homemakers began life 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 or phone service, or access to libraries or other sources of life-saving knowledge.

Nationally, AEHC is affiliated with the National Volunteer Outreach Network. Internationally, AEHC is part of the Associated Country Women of the World. “Arkansas Extension Homemakers has been around for 107 years, and for the organization’s whole history, has quietly worked to improve the lives of all Arkansans today as it has for more than a century,” said Laura Hendrix, associate professor for the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture. “The thousands of members of this organization put in hundreds of thousands of hours of volunteer work every year. We are proud of the contributions they make to their communities and the state as a whole.”

During fiscal 2018-2019, the most recent period for which statistics are available, Extension Homemakers reported giving 707,960 hours of volunteer service. Those at the Capitol will be representing the more than 3,775 members of the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council from 324 clubs.

Since its start in 1912, the Extension Homemakers/Home Demonstration program has been ongoing in Arkansas, providing its members with education and leadership development and service to the communities in which the clubs are located. Through the years, the program has helped victims of the great Mississippi River Flood of 1927, promoted vaccination programs and provided tools to help young children communicate what ails them to health professionals.

About the Division of Agriculture: The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture’s mission is to strengthen agriculture, communities, and families by connecting trusted research to the adoption of best practices. Through the Agricultural Experiment Station and the Cooperative Extension Service, the Division of Agriculture conducts research and extension work within the nation’s historic land grant education system.

The Division of Agriculture is one of 20 entities within the University of Arkansas System. It has offices in all 75 counties in Arkansas and faculty on five system campuses.
Extension Homemakers Clubs in Sebastian County:
Cavanaugh –
President: Mel Santos
Meeting time and place:
Third Wed.,
10 a.m., Creekmore Park,
3301 S. M Street, Fort Smith

Fort Smith Central –
President: Shirley Hamilton
Meeting time and place:
Third Thurs.,
10 a.m., Farmers Bank,
227 Fort Street, Barling

Good Neighbors –
President: Gwen Woodhull
Meeting time and place:
First Thurs.,
10:30 a.m., Jenny Lind
Baptist Church,
1910 Gate 9 Road, Greenwood

Dayton –
President: Donna Lindgren
Meeting time and place:
First Thurs.,
6:30 p.m., Dayton Community Building,
2229 E. Highway 252, Huntington

Excelsior –
President: Paula Resch
Meeting time and place:
Third Thurs.,
10 a.m., Farmers Bank Com. Room,
71 W. Center St., Greenwood

Are you interested in becoming an AEHC member, but the current clubs do not work for you? We can start a new club at your nursing home, assisted living, or any other location! Please contact your FCS Agent, Shaw nee Tichenor, for more information at 479-484-7737!

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