Madison County Association for Home and Community Education board members attended a 2015 District Planning Meeting in Effingham, Ill., in August sponsored by Illinois Association for Home and Community Education. Pictured, front row, from left, are Cathy Staroba, Gloria Hartmann, Maureen Bets, Carol Chappel and Joyce Cornwell; back row, from left, Cheryl Hacker, Beth James, Vi Huebner and Claudia Harju.
EDWARDSVILLE — The Madison County Association for Home and Community Education will celebrate HCE Week Oct. 6-12 with International Night-Germany on the evening of Monday, Oct. 6, at the Farm Bureau Auditorium, 900 Hillsboro Ave.
HCE Week is a week or month each Illinois county sets aside to showcase HCE.
In Madison County, the Home Bureau began with Truman May, who was farm adviser in the county in 1936. Realizing the need to interest women in such an organization, May got women together from 12 townships in April of that year.
There were farm women in the county who realized the importance of Home Bureau as well. Articles in the Prairie Farmer, an Illinois periodical citing accomplishments of farm women belonging to the Illinois Home Bureau, inspired Leta Plocher and Elsie Castle, who went about the county to distribute membership cards and information about Home Bureau and encourage these women to attend the meeting. As a result of Truman May, Plocher, Castle and other women, 324 members attended the first meeting on Dec. 1, 1936. Mary Strubinger (later became Knecht) began work Jan. 25, 1937, as the first home adviser in Madison County.
Among the first lessons in the 1930s were Soap Making, Standards for Adequate Nutrition, Good Food Habits for the Family, What Women Should Know about Legal Papers and Accessories for the Home: Their Place and Arrangement.
In 2015 some of the lessons for living include Landscaping with Perennials, Mindfulness and Soul Care, Cooking with Fresh Vegetables and Jest for the Fun of It — Laughing Aerobics.
In 1962, the name of the organization was changed from Home Bureau to Homemakers Extension Association (HEA). The name change reflected a greater identity with the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension Service and a partnership with HEA. In 1993 the name changed to Family and Community Education, and in 1995 it changed to Home and Community Education.
Home and Community Education’s goal is to enrich lives, homes and communities by learning, sharing and volunteering. In the beginning, the organization may have targeted the rural area, but now it reaches out to the homes in villages, towns, the suburbs and cities and is open to men and women.
In recent years, the organization has sponsored various events to enrich communities and involve the public such as Emergency Preparedness Fair in April 2013, Quilt Show and Dessert Tasting; Christmas in November — Buttons and Bows on Nov. 6; Winter Warm Up/Summer Cool Down craft workshops to encourage participants to learn new crafts, heritage skills and lessons for living.
Madison County Association for Home and Community Education has dedicated itself to sharing members’ talents by making Linus blankets for children in hospitals, care bears, turbans for cancer patients, helmet liners for soldiers as well as donating non-perishable items for food pantries and clothing and household items for H.I.S. KIDS and Women’s Oasis.
Madison County has 15 HCE units. To find an HCE Club, contact Joyce at (618) 656-1331 or Vi at (618) 254-0368.