Massac County Home and Community Education (HCE) will celebrate Illinois HCE Week next week, Oct.11-16.

HCE helps individuals and families learn about food, nutrition and health. Additionally, HCE offers lessons in safety, environmental issues, horticulture, cultural enrichment and life skills. Members develop personal and leadership skills to help others in their homes, their family and in the community.

“HCE has continued to remain active this past year, although it looked different than the traditional ways of meeting,” said Massac County HCE president Norma Korte.

To remain connected to one another and the community, HCE units held meetings outdoors or by phone, the county shared lessons by mail and members remained active in various ways throughout the community.

Massac County HCE earned three awards during the 2021 Illinois Association of Home and Community Education (IAHCE) for District 5 Workshop in August. They were:

• Education Award in International — Led by Melissa Simpson, Massac County HCE International director, members learned about the 2020 country of study, Uruguay. Simpson prepared an educational video about Uruguay and presented the video through Facebook Live, allowing current members and anyone else who follows the county HCE Facebook page to watch the video and learn more about this country of study.

• Education Award in Family & Community Outreach — Led by Kathy Travis, Massac County HCE Family & Community director, members throughout the county participated in several community outreach activities. One example was the 60 recognition and care bags prepared and given to veterans who reside at local care facilities. Bags of fruit, snacks and thank you cards were also prepared and given to the 911 emergency response teams in the county. Other community projects throughout the year included donations of 75 pounds of canned food items and household cleaning supplies to Guardian House and Project Hope and 14 dozen masks sewn and donated to local hospitals and care facilities.

• Grand Education Award in Public Relations — Led by Korte, Massac County HCE Public Relations director, Massac County HCE was recognized for its efforts to submit articles to the Metropolis Planet, post events and photos on Facebook and submit information to the IAHCE state newsletter. Additionally, Massac County HCE provides lessons to members and community members and publishes a monthly newsletter.

According to1920s home economist Juliet Lita Bane, the organization that became HCE was “founded upon mutual affection and respect.” Its object is “to have the home economically sound, mechanically convenient, physically healthful, morally wholesome, mentally stimulating, artistically satisfying, socially responsible and spiritually inspiring.

Massac County HCE began in 1947 and will celebrate its 75th anniversary in 2022. New members are always welcome.

“Consider joining HCE to meet new people, have access to educational lessons and learn new things, and participate in community and volunteer activities,” Korte said.

Membership dues are $10 for the upcoming year. For more information, contact the Massac County Extension Office at 524-2270.

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