Submitted by Margaret McCoy
As we celebrate Extension Homemaker’s week here in Meade County, let’s look at the Meade County Extension Homemakers Association, our purpose and why one would want to be a member.
Why belong to this group?
* Are you new to the community?
* Are you a stay-at-home care giver, maybe you are single, widowed or maybe empty nester?
* Are you someone who is retired and would like to be involved more in your community?
We are not just cooking and crafts but can be at times. We have eight clubs that have many different likes and talents and there is a club out there that would be perfect for you.
The community service projects and programs the Meade County Extension Homemakers are involved in are numerous. They consist of the University of Kentucky Ovarian Cancer Screening Research Program, Manners Luncheon, Meade County Fair Exhibits, Gifts from the Heart, Holiday Bazaar, Meade County Backpack Program, Meade County Food Pantry, Meade County Recycling Program, taught in the primary and elementary schools, Springhaven Domestic Violence Shelter, Meade County Extension Homemakers Annual Scholarship, volunteering at All About Home Assisted Living and Brandenburg Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Support to Military Families, Meade County School System, MARC Anchor House, Center for Courageous Kid, the Annual Harvest Dinner and acknowledging veterans at different times of the year.
Homemakers have contributed or volunteered their time, money and effort over the years in support of the community. In 2020, the Meade County Extension Homemakers gave 17,813.75 volunteer hours to our community, which, if they were being paid, would have equated to $426,971.25.
What is a
The definition according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is “one who manages a household, especially as a spouse and parent.” According to the English Language Learners Definition it is “a wife who does work (such as sewing, cleaning or cooking) at home and usually does not have another job outside the home.” The first known use of the word “homemaker” was in 1867. We know that definition of homemaker is not true today. Most homemakers care for home and family, work outside the home and hardly have time for themselves. That is where Meade County Extension Homemakers can help; a place to learn to make life easier and a place to share common interest with those in the community.
Meade County Extension Homemakers come from all walks of life. The membership still consists of those who do/did not work outside the home, but the membership also consists of retired nurses, retired teachers, military veterans, retired government employees, those who are still employed outside the home, are stay-at-home moms and many other backgrounds. Extension Homemakers can cook, bake, sew and clean with the best, but they do so much more. They are people who want to and do so voluntarily so many other things to give back to the community. The Extension Homemakers are trying very hard to get out of that “cookie cutter” mode of what an Extension Homemaker is.
As we have moved away from the June Cleaver image as a society, so has the extension homemaker organization adapting to reach the needs of members and improve our communities.
The Meade County Extension Homemakers began with a group of ladies from the Buck Grove and Garrett communities who met in an individual’s home in 1948. There was a total of nineteen members at that time. The club grew so quickly that it soon divided into two clubs. Today there are a total of nine clubs. There currently is a total of 273 Meade County Extension Homemaker “members. We’ve come a long way baby.”
The Meade County Extension Homemakers Association is organized exclusively, not for profit, but for educational and charitable purposes. The Association promotes education programs in the Family and Consumer Sciences in cooperation with Extension Service of the United States Department of Agriculture and the University of Kentucky, College of
Agriculture, Food and Environment.
One of the goals of the Meade County Extension Homemakers is to create an awareness of the needs of families in the home, community, state, nation, and world. As a means of pursuing this goal, the Meade County Extension Homemaker Educational Chairmen promote programs that broaden the understanding of our nation, state, and community; promote and develop cultural diversity programs; promote cultural arts and performing arts; promote the study of cultural heritage through literature and museums; promote activities and programs that protect health, environment and natural resources; promote the nurturing of families through education and positive example; support campaigns against family and community violence; promote programs that contribute to improving nutrition and health for individuals, families and communities; promote and donate to the University of Kentucky Ovarian Cancer Research Fund program; work with 4-H youth to help develop their leadership skills; promote action that explores poverty, zero hunger, climate change and leadership development among women worldwide; promote programs about safety in the home, on the farm and in the schools; and promote programs pertaining to resource management, including time and money. These are only a few of the programs the Meade County Extension Homemakers support and diligently volunteer for.
The Kentucky Extension Homemaker Association (KEHA) week is annually celebrated the second full week of October. This year the dates are October 10-16, 2021. Meade County Judge Executive, Leslie Stith signed a proclamation proclaiming that as KEHA week. There will be displays pertaining to Meade County Extension Homemakers in local businesses, banks, and other locations during the month of October.
Normally we would have the program, Gifts from the Heart, but because of Covid it has been canceled for this year. If you see an individual who is a Meade County Extension Homemaker member out and about during the month of October, please thank them for their volunteer service and encourage them to keep up their good work. If you are interested in obtaining more information pertaining to membership in the Meade County Extension Homemakers Association or would like to join a club, please contact the Meade County Extension Office at 270-422-4958.