Community Educational Outreach Service flourishing in Hancock County

NEW CUMBERLAND — Dating back to 1914, when it was known as the Farm Women’s Club, West Virginia University’s Community Educational Outreach Service is alive and well in Hancock County.

Supported by the West Virginia University Extension Service, “WVCEOS is a place to belong, learn, grow and have a good time with wonderful people who know how to make you feel welcome,” a spokesperson noted.

Strengthening the family is part of the CEOS mission. With more than 5.6 million community service activities over the past decade, members make a difference through education, volunteering and leadership activities through clubs and programs across the state.

Together, members conduct and participate in motivational education activities and events that help members continue learning, gain leadership skills and inspire community involvement. New information and past traditions combine to help create individual balance and strong families.

Hancock County has one CEOS club — the Newview Club. “Although members have a lot of fun, they are, first and foremost, a service organization donating time and skills for the betterment of their communities at the grassroots level,” the spokesperson noted.

“Last year, the Newview Club contributed more than 9,000 hours of volunteer service benefiting, among others, the Hancock County 4-H program, the Brooke-Hancock Family Resource Network and Energy Express. In the past 10 years they have contributed more than 60,000 hours of service.

Additional programs include making sure area veterans and nursing home residents are not forgotten at Christmas, by making and donating hats and scarves for many people. They have crocheted sleeping mats for the homeless and participated in the Linus Project, which provides homemade blankets to children in need, and conducted “make-and-take” basic cooking classes, free of charge.

The Newview CEOS Club meets at 11 a.m. on the first Thursday of each month at the Hancock County Senior Center on Gas Valley Road. In addition to the business meeting, each month features a lesson presented by one of the members. Past lessons have ranged from cooking and caring for cast iron, to genealogy, quilt trails and how to say “No” with grace.

Some of the lessons slated for 2018 are:

— April 5: “Home Economics from the Great Depression to Today;”

— May 3: “Celebrate Equality,” a look at the evolution of education in West Virginia and women’s achievements in equality; and

— June 7: “Native Americans in West Virginia.”

Other upcoming lessons include “Healthy Oils,” “Women in West Virginia,” a brief history of WVCEOS and the women who led the program; “West Virginia Paper Crafts;” and “Appalachian Genealogy.”

Among the benefits of membership in the CEOS is being able to attend the annual WVCEOS Conference, hosted at WVU Jackson’s Mill. There, participants learn about strengthening the family through activities and workshops, including sewing, preserving and cooking food and financial concerns, all while enjoying movie nights, silent auctions, basket walks and more.

For information, call (304) 564-3805.