7 volunteers make their lives doing for others
Published 10:17 am Friday, December 5, 2014
More than 4,000 hours. That is what seven local women gave to their local communities through volunteer work in one year.
On Thursday, the local Family and Community Education Clubs in Carter County honored these women who gave of themselves in service to their community. Caroline Bales, Elizabeth Crawford, Patricia Gray, Gloria Holly and Emily Smith received certificates during the FCE Club’s annual Christmas luncheon. Also honored were Caroline Duncan, who was not in attendance, and the late Betty McFarland, who passed away in August.
All seven of the women honored logged in more than 500 hours of community service each, Vickie Clark said. The FCE Clubs are organized through the UT Agricultural Extension Service, and Clark, who is an FCS Agent with the Service, said the clubs support their communities in a number of ways through volunteer work. The volunteer hours were counted from June 2013 to May 2014.
“Some of the examples of service activities that they completed included volunteering at the schools, with 4-H Club work, church work, volunteering with shut-ins, hospitals and nursing homes and senior citizens,” Clark said. “Paper products were collected and donated to the Shepherd’s Inn for the victims of domestic abuse. Stuffed toys were made for pediatric doctors and the health department, and infant clothes and supplies were collected and donated to Niswonger Children’s Hospital and Franklin Woods Hospital.”
The state calculates volunteer service at a rate of $22.14 per hour, Clark said, bringing the total for the hours volunteered by the seven honored women to $88,560.
“It is always good for us to show our legislators a dollar value for the work we do,” Clark told the FCE Club members at the luncheon, adding that despite a calculated value from the state, a price tag could not be placed on the time given by these ladies.
“I know from what I have seen first hand the value of what you have done,” she added.
Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey attended the luncheon to present the certificates to the volunteers.
“I just want to thank you for all you have done for the community through your organization,” Humphrey said to club members before handing out the awards.
Bales, one of those honored, serves as president of the County Council for the FCE Clubs. For her, she said, volunteering is simply a way to support her community.
“I feel like if you are able to, you need to be doing things to help other people,” she said, adding many others in the club feel the same way. “I think everyone just tries to do things to help.”
In addition to projects in their local community, Bales said club members also participate in state-wide projects as well as supporting 4-H clubs on the local level and at the 4-H summer camps by teaching workshops on things such as quilting, sewing, crafts and cooking.
The FCE Clubs are dedicated to the purpose of helping persons become better homemakers and develop leadership skills through educational activities. Clubs meet once a month in their local community. Clark said there are three FCE Clubs in Carter County. Club membership is open to anyone regardless of race, color, national origin, age, disability or sex.
To join an FCE Club in Carter County, please call the Extension Office at 423-542-1818.