Homemaker Volunteer members improve family, community life

By By Sharon Busler/Home Economist
April 29, 2001
While I was involved in 4-H growing up, my mother was also involved in another Extension Service program called Homemaker Club Work.
She enjoyed it as much as I did 4-H and one thing I remember most vividly is that even though Homemaker Club Work was her time, she always shared with our family what she learned and it helped us.
I've heard her say many times that homemaker clubs are for all who are interested in improving family and community life.
For that reason and for what I know about the homemaker clubs in our county, it's easy to promote involvement in this program especially during Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers Club Week, which begins today. This is a time which was set aside to focus on the outstanding contributions of all 3,465 members in 285 clubs statewide.
Homemaker members participate in educational programs designed to improve care for their family and homes and to become more active members of their communities.
Topics of programs range from "Positive Relationships" to "Estate Planning" to "Food Safety" and "Water Quality." Club members participate in leader training classes, teach lessons, take part in discussions, plan and participate in recreational activities, and help with community projects. Plus, in the last several years MHV members have worked tirelessly to get legislation passed in Mississippi that would increase the age of child vehicle restraints from 4 to 8 years of age, saving many of Mississippi's children from death and injury in automobile accidents.
Homemaker members in Lauderdale County are under the leadership of Judy Harwell, County Council president. They are involved in everything from building up their own families and communities to helping the Care Lodge, Hilltop House for Boys and Girls, Boys and Girls Clubs, nursing homes, various senior citizen groups, 4-H clubs, etc.
Some of their greatest involvements and achievements this year have been working with the Welcome Center during Hospitality Month, refurbishing areas in the Care Lodge, giving child abuse prevention programs, making slippers and gowns for the Children's Hospital in Jackson, and coordinating the annual Arts and Crafts Show and Sale that spotlighted 76 home-based businesses.
The more I work with these clubs, the more I realize what the words "care" and "self-improvement" really mean. The work that each club does exemplifies their concern for others and the programs they have show their desire to continuously educate themselves.
One homemaker member said it best: "I've learned how to do things better, like in the area of time and money management and raising my family.
Our County Extension Service provides resources and training for the educational phase of the Homemaker program and we encourage new involvement, as well as a renewed involvement.
Requirements for membership are, first, that you are interested in keeping current on information that enhances the quality of life for you and other families in your community. Second, you must be willing to share with others the responsibilities of making the club a success.
As this week of observance begins, I want to especially thank and congratulate each homemaker club member for all they do to make our county and city a better place to live. Their (your) outreach is tremendous.
Last year alone, these members donated 12,621 hours of volunteer work to Meridian and Lauderdale County.
If you are interested in becoming involved in Homemaker Volunteer Work, please call the County Extension Office in your county. In Lauderdale County, call me, Sharon Busler, at 482-9764, or talk to any of the following club presidents:
Kathleen Hare Coleman MHV Club
Dean Hodgins Collinsville MHV Club
Corine Evans Dogwood MHV Club
June Ferguson Magnolia MHV Club
Gloria Hughes Obadiah MHV Club
Rachel Martin Savoy MHV Club
The more that are involved in the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteer
Program, either through membership in a club or through the county program as a Mailbox member, the greater the outreach will be.
Remember … "We will be victorious if we have not forgotten how to learn." Rosa Luxemburg
Sharon Busler is home economist for the Mississippi State University-Extension Service, Lauderdale County.

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