For almost 80 years, Oklahoma Home and Community Education, Inc. (OHCE) has helped improve the quality of life of all Oklahomans. This spring, Bryan County is recognizing the organization’s ongoing efforts by proclaiming May 5-9 as OHCE Week.
“OHCE educates and prepares its members to handle change in their homes and communities. Members turn around and share that knowledge on everything from disaster preparedness to personal finance to health and nutrition,” said Tommie M. James, Bryan County, Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Educator. “OHCE is closely tied to the Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension Service, so residents can be confident they are receiving accurate, research-based guidance.”
After awarding $62,553 in scholarships to Oklahoma students and for various individual and community projects in 2014, OHCE groups are responsible for pouring more than $182,000 into Oklahoma communities in the past three years.
“A huge project for Bryan County OHCE was hosting the 2014 S.E. District OHCE Meeting with 232 OHCE members and guest in attendance. A big emphasis has been on providing community service projects to help individuals and families, examples; cosmetic bags filled with personal hygiene items for the Women’s Crisis Center, Home of the Brave Quilt, Coats for CASA, blankets for the homeless, solider boxes and food drive. We continue to support 4-H by donating $601 to support (4) 4-Hers to attend national 4-H trips, judging 4-H contests, and helping teach 4-H summer day camps. Annually, we offer (2) $600 educational scholarships for county residents. Each year, we volunteer an estimated 300 hours at the county fair and overseeing the Home Arts Department,” said Jolene Reid, Bryan County OHCE President.
“OHCE strongly supports and promotes local residents and initiatives, as well as develops local leaders,” said James “Since OHCE members live in the communities they serve, they can quickly identify issues and work to effectively address those concerns.”
The organization also is involved in statewide initiatives such as Raising Young Readers, a reading program for preschoolers, and Water for All, an international effort OHCE assists by donating enough funds to drill an average of two wells per year.
This year marks the 79th anniversary of OHCE, which was established in Stillwater, Oklahoma, on July 24, 1935. There are 3,717 members, including the 51 women and men who make up the Bryan County membership.
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.
To learn more about the Bryan County OHCE, please make plans to attend the county’s monthly OHCE Executive Meeting on Wednesday, May 7th, 9:30 am, at the Clay Jones Community Center, Durant. An educational lesson titled “Who Gets Grandma’s Yellow Plate” will be taught. Everyone has been asked to bring items to be place in Soldier Boxes. We will be presenting two county High School Seniors each with a $600 scholarship. Refreshments will be served. So make plans to join us on May 7th.
For more information about OHCE, contact the Bryan County OSU Extension Office at 924-5312. The Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service offers its program to all eligible persons regardless of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, disability, or status as a veteran and is an Equal Opportunity Employer.