By Jessica Nickels, columnist
Enid News & Eagle
Oklahoma Home and Community Education, Inc. (OHCE) will celebrate nearly 80 years of helping to improve the quality of life of all Oklahomans this spring, and Monday through Friday is OHCE Week.
OHCE’s mission is to educate and prepare members to handle change in their homes and communities. With its close ties to the Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension, OHCE members have access to research-based information and they use that know-how to help residents across the state.
After awarding $113,585 in scholarships to Oklahoma students and for various projects in 2012, OHCE groups are responsible for pouring more than $166,085 into Oklahoma communities in the past two years.
In Garfield County, OHCE groups provide scholarships to high school seniors and scholarships to 4-Hers to use for National trips. County members provided quilts to young cancer patients and Imo Neighbors OHCE group provided several pillow cases to the YWCA Crisis Center. Members also provide workshops to the public at no cost on topics like beginning sewing and cookie decorating.
Few, if any, organizations are better positioned than OHCE to support residents, promote local initiatives and develop community leaders. OHCE members live in the communities they serve allowing them to quickly identify issues and work to effectively address those concerns.
The organization also supports statewide initiatives such as Raising Young Readers, a reading program for preschoolers, and Water for All, an international effort OHCE supports by donating enough funds to drill an average of two wells per year.
This year marks the 78th anniversary of OHCE, which was established on July 24, 1935 in Stillwater. There are 3,879 members statewide, including 106 in Garfield County.
OHCE offers continuing education in all areas of home and community life. County-based groups partner with county extension family and consumer sciences educators and district and state extension specialists to advance their mission. The organization is affiliated with The Associated Country Women of the World.
In conjunction with OHCE Week, the Bethany OHCE group will host a program “Weather Emergency Preparedness” presented by Mike Honigsberg, Enid/Garfield County Emergency Management director, and would like to invite anyone interested. The program will be held at 1:30 p.m. Friday at the OSU Extension Center.
For more information about OHCE or to join a club, please contact Jessica Nickels, MS, RD/LD, Garfield County FCS Extension Educator at (580) 237-1228.
Nickels, MS, RD/LD, is Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service Family and Consumer Sciences educator for Garfield County.