FARMINGTON — Extension Homemakers in Franklin County donated 7,690 volunteer hours to their communities last year. Those hours were valued at $107,660.

In 2014, 116 Maine Extension Homemakers in the county participated in community education programs in areas such as food safety, personal safety, nutrition and health, gardening and environment, Linda Gramlich told Franklin County commissioners on Monday.

They also participated in financial planning and consumer issues, personal growth and family relationships, and cultural and creative arts. 

Gramlich, who is a member of the North Chesterville Extension Homemakers and a member of the Franklin County Extension Homemakers’ Advisory Board, and Amy Palmer, a member of the Clearwater Extension Homemakers, updated commissioners on what the groups do.

The volunteer groups’ goal is developing leadership, supporting worthy community causes and promoting University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s educational programs in Franklin County, Gramlich said. Their purpose is tied to strengthening and extending adult education in the home and community.

One project they did as a county was a quilt raffle that raised more than $900 for the Western Maine Homeless Outreach in Farmington, she said.

Extension Homemaker membership is open to anyone interested in learning new information to improve their personal, family and community life, or to someone interested in educating and serving members of the Extension Homemakers groups and their local communities.

Last year, Palmer said, there were 1,011 participants in educational programs offered at the local level. Volunteer hours given to outside organizations/agencies/groups totaled 1,938 that are valued at $27,132.

Homemakers made or donated items valued at $5,350 that were given to outside groups or citizens. The 2,206 volunteer hours to make the items was valued at $30,884.

Overall, there were 7,690 volunteer hours donated, valued at $107,660. The value of donations was $11,964, Palmer said. The total estimated monetary value of the Franklin County Extension Homemaker Program to its communities was $119,624, she said.

County Commissioner Clyde Barker of Strong thanked them for their presentation.

It enlightened him on what they do, he said. The county provided a program grant of $46,975 to the Franklin County Extension this year. The organization offers a number of programs, including 4-H.

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