SOUTH MISSISSIPPI (WLOX) - They give their time and talents to help abused children, American veterans, unwed mothers, special needs kids, contribute to their county's fairs and are expert homemakers.
It is truly amazing what the ladies who make up the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers accomplish. And Mississippi State Extension Service's Homemaker Volunteers say they learn a whole lot, from each other.
Martha Leuenberger is a member of the Harrison County Homemaker Volunteers.
"I have learned budgeting. I have learned flower arranging. I have learned interior decorating."
And with their many skills, they do countless good deeds here at home and far away, like sewing uniforms for children in Guatamala who can't go to school without them. They also support the Promise House in Jackson County for unwed mothers and share their wisdom with young people.
Doris Alexander is a George County Homemaker Volunteer and a 4H volunteer.
"I teach them citizenship, consumer education and ethics. Those are the items that I think young people need today, that we had, that they don't get in this day and age."
The extension service's Judy Breland said the Homemaker Volunteers also make preserves for their county's fair, make bags for wheelchair bound veterans at the Armed Forces Retirement Home and help abused children.
"They make a doll that has no face no features, the head, the arms, the legs, so they can be used to point out to a doctor where they have been abused," Judy Breland said.
And they offer comfort to grieving parents of premature babies.
"I think the thing that I'm most proud of is the silent layettes that we do for Blare Batson Hospital in Jackson," Leuenberger said. "These are babies that don't make it and this is the last time the mother gets to see the baby."
During this coastwide meeting, the homemakers heard from Principal Vicki Carter of the Child Development Center in Gulfport. The volunteers want to start making many of the things her school needs for its special children. They also gave her a check for $200.
Retired Extension Service Home Economist Nancy Freeman presented the check to Ms. Carter.
"This is for needed goods for the children or teachers' supplies needed at your school," Freeman said as she presented the check.
Principal Carter was extremely grateful and said, "Thank you so much. It will go to very good use, I promise you."
The group is made up of mostly retired ladies, but they invite ladies of all ages who are interested in becoming a better homemaker and community servant.