Headline: Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council volunteers give gifts of warmth to hospital-bound


Byline: By Tracy Courage U of A System Division of Agriculture


Cutline: Members of the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council hold blankets that were donated to UAMS recently. (Special to The Commercial)


LITTLE ROCK – Santa and his helpers made a stop at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences on Tuesday with a gift from the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council for each patient: a soft warm blanket to keep.


Members of AEHC clubs in Prairie, Lonoke, Jefferson and Lincoln counties donated 121 blankets to the UAMS Auxiliary the day before, helping the organization meet more than a quarter of its goal of 450 blankets for this year’s delivery.


Shea Wilson, a Family and Consumer Science agent with the Cooperative Extension Service office in Prairie County, said that within a few days of the Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council putting out the call, more than 40 blankets had arrived at her office.


“I always say, if you need something done just ask Extension Homemakers,” Wilson said. “I’m so proud of the work they do in our local community and across the state. They are a huge asset to our county program and the impacts we are able to make each year.”


Most of the donated blankets are 50-inch-by-60-inch fleece throws in an array of colors — from soft pastels to bright festive colors to animal prints to holiday-themed blankets with snowflakes and snowmen.


Blankets are just one of the many service projects AEHC members do throughout the year. AEHC volunteers have been knitting hats many years for Arkansas Children’s Hospital’s Knitting for Noggins program. Earlier this month, volunteers delivered 300 hats of all colors and sizes for preemies, newborns, children and adults.


“Arkansas Children’s Hospital has a wagon they put the hats in, and anyone is free to grab a hat,” said Sophie Spann said, who works with the U of A Cooperative Extension Service’s Family and Consumer Services division and delivered the hats and blankets.


The Arkansas Extension Homemakers work with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service to improve quality of life through continuing education, leadership development, and community service. With more than 4,400 members and 350 Extension Homemaker Clubs throughout the state, AEHC is one of the largest volunteer groups in the state. Last year, members volunteered a more than 705,000 hours.


To learn about extension programs in Arkansas, contact your local Cooperative Extension Service agent or visit www.uaex.edu. Follow us on Twitter at @UAEX_edu.


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.


The University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture offers all its Extension and Research programs and services without regard to race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.


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