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MS Homemaker Volunteers say ‘it’s a blessing’ to craft, serve and fellowship

Every second Thursday, a group of local women meet to practice crafts, work on public service projects and enjoy each other’s company.

Founded in 1918, the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers have been meeting for more than 100 years. Extension Agent LaToya Evans heads the group in Lincoln County, and MHV members said she has brought several fresh ideas to the table.

“LaToya, she’s young and she’s come up with more to do than we’ve been doing,” MHV member Carolyn Reed said. Reed, who has been an MHV member for nearly 50 years, is one of the most-senior members of the club in Lincoln County. “So we thank God for her.”

Crafts are a big part of MHV. On Thursday, MHV members met to work on an upcycling project. Evans said it was a new project for the new year, and they’ve been working on it for about three weeks.

“We’re taking old T-shirts, whether it’s class reunion shirts, sports or whatever old T-shirts you have, and we’re making quilts out of them,” Evans said. “We have some experienced seamstresses that are helping with this project. They’re going to make quilts.”

Several members are making the quilts to give to their grandchildren, using school shirts of sentimental value.

“In the future, we hope to hold some workshops for the club where people can come and do their own,” Evans said. “Right now, we’re just doing individual.”

While MHV members do spend time working on individual craft projects, public service is an important component to the organization. Evans said in previous years the group has sent blankets and other supplies to Blair E. Batson Children’s Hospital and hygiene supplies to Ronald McDonald House.

“We crocheted and made caps for St. Jude,” Reeds said. “It was a blessing to see the smiles on the faces of the children seeing the caps. We’ve had cooking contests. We’ve learned to do a lot of things I did not know how to do.”

Those interested in joining MHV can go to the extension office at room 201 of the Lincoln County-Brookhaven Government Complex, or they can call Evans at 601-835-3460. There is a $10 annual membership fee.

For Reed, MHV is a club where she has made good friends, helped people and learned some things along the way.

“We’ve enjoyed each other,” she said. “We’ve lost some members. But God kept us together over the years. We’ve enjoyed the things we’ve learned to do and it’s just a blessing. Our door is always open.”