June 6, 2015

More than "Homemaking" - By Marie Temm

Cumberland County Extension Homemakers, a very old organization of 60 plus years, held their annual county meeting at Spring Meadows Country Club in Gray on Tuesday, May 19, 2015.

According to their Homemakers’ Creed they “organize and serve in the community, in a caring manner.”
The program consisted of a business meeting with a slide power point presentation covering the activities of 2014, which highlighted the volunteer hours, goods and donations made in Cumberland County and state wide. These hours are spent serving the community, hospitals, libraries, food pantries, Meals-on-Wheels and educational programs.

Cumberland County Homemakers donated 3,736 volunteer hours and goods at a worth of $5,264.00.
On the state level there were 29,213 volunteer hours logged at a total worth of $408,982.00 as reported by Cumberland County and state chairperson Marie Temm.

Highlights of 2014 included our “Shelter Bag” program for domestic violence safe homes, work and donations made by all four of the Cumberland County groups. The groups include: West Baldwin, Gray, Tri-Town (Gorham, Westbrook, Standish), and Windham-White Rock. Our County groups also donated scholarships and camperships to deserving youth, and to Coins-for-Caring.

All Maine counties give to the Coins-for-Caring. In 2014, the coins were donated to the Jackie Conant Scholarship Fund which gives scholarships for needy children to attend Camp Bryant Pond 4-H Learning Camp. Coins collected during 2015 will be donated to the ALS/EyeMax project in Maine. Coins-for-Caring 2015 will be used for transporting and maintaining the EyeMax.

Extension Homemakers spearheaded a state-wide effort to raise $15,000 to purchase a communication device for patients in Maine who have “Lou Gehrig’s disease”. This money was raised in 2010 and the machine has been circling around our great state enabling communications between those stricken with the disease and their caregivers and family. 

Some of our educational programs during the past year have included Area of Study - Italy, programs on “Tussie Musie” by Amy Witt, historical tour of Portland, patio picnic with flower arranging make and take, fair displays at both Cumberland and Fryeburg fairs.

A special yearly event in our county is to have Dr. David Richards, Ph.D, historian, author, and director of the Margaret Chase Smith Library present our spring program. This year’s topic was “Elizabeth Arden, The Evangelist of Beauty”. This was a very great way to learn about her life and times from 1881 to 1966, and about Maine Chance Farm on Long Pond.

After David’s presentation, one of many he has given us, he was presented with an honorary membership to Cumberland County Extension Homemakers. “He is now officially one of us,” said Marie Temm.

In the fall of 2016, Cumberland County will be hosting the Statewide Fall Meeting. Stay tuned for more information. There is an open invitation for all to join us at any of our local groups or special functions. For more information, please call our main office on Clearwater Avenue in Falmouth at 781-6099 and ask for more information, or visit extension.umaine.edu/homemakers.

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