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April 9, 2020
By Tracy CourageU of A System Division of Agriculture
(484 words)(Newsrooms: with art at https://flic.kr/p/2iNBumK and https://flic.kr/p/2iNyLZ7)(Download this story in MS Word format here.)
LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas Extension Homemakers Council organizations have a long history
of organizing and taking action, especially during times of crisis. They ran soup
kitchens during the flu epidemic of 1918, canned vegetables during the flood of 1927
and throughout the Great Depression, and planted victory gardens to increase food
supply during World War II.
As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold, EHC clubs found a new way to serve their communities:
sewing cloth face masks that can offer some protection to those who have to be out
The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention now recommends that people wear face
coverings in public settings, such as grocery stores and pharmacies, where it is difficult
to maintain social distancing.
The masks can:
Members of the Sylvan Hills Extension Homemakers Club in Pulaski County teamed up
with a Sunday school class at Second Baptist Church Little Rock, where several EHC
club members attend. Calling themselves the “Mask Warriors,” the group has sewn more
than 1,000 masks that have been donated to Baptist Health Medical Center in North
Little Rock, St. Vincent Rehab, Robinson Nursing Home, Jericho Way, Access Therapy,
the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Arkansas Children’s Hospital and
the Salvation Army.
“It all started with a casual conversation with a friend who is a chaplain who was
talking about the shortage of masks,” EHC member Leatrice Klutts of Sherwood said.
“There are many who have provided supplies, a sewing machine and pick-up and delivery.
Our club is proud of the response from Second Baptist Church and the members of the
Sylvan Hills EHC. Neither group could have done it alone.”
Except for $22 in start-up costs, the group used donated materials for their effort,
With more than 350 clubs and 4,400 members in Arkansas, EHC members have sewn more
than 10,000 masks statewide. Arkansas 4-H clubs also have contributed to the stockpile.
Washington County EHC club members made 400 masks benefitting Mana Breast Center,
Encompass Nursing Homes, and several local clinics.
Pike County EHC made 162 masks for local hospitals, nursing homes, fire departments
and first responders. The volunteers spent 53 hours making the masks, Pike County
Extension agent Heather Jackson said.
Logan County’s EHC volunteers also made masks for their local first responders. They
also created a pattern with step-by-step photo instructions to teach other volunteers,
county agent Charla Hammonds said.
Garland County EHC volunteers created nearly 300 masks for Elite Home Health, Superior
Senior Care, CHI St. Vincent, Health Star - Lake Hamilton West Clinic, the Area Agency
on Aging and Healthy Connections.
To learn how to get involved with Extension Homemaker Clubs, contact your local Cooperative
Extension Service agent or visit wwgw.uada.edu. To find COVID-19 resources, visit uaex.uada.edu/COVID19.
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.
# # #
Media contact:Tracy CourageDirector, Communications ServicesU of A System Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service(501) email@example.com