Doing the “Heart” Work
Glyndel Wood, Mississippi Homemaker Volunteer in Itawamba County
Making a Difference
MHV group addresses community needs, provides fellowship
Story by Susan Collins-Smith • Photo by Kevin Hudson
The Mississippi Homemaker Volunteer club that Glyndel Wood organized in 1982 in Itawamba County is still an avenue of community service and fellowship for members.
The club, supported by the Mississippi State University Extension Service, is one of several across the state that works to improve family and community life through volunteerism and education.
“I started the club for my mother after my dad died,” Wood explains. “She didn’t know what to do with herself. She loved flowers and gardening, and that was a natural fit for Extension’s exhibit days, which we’ve always participated in. She had so many flower entries every year, I always had to bring them in a van.”
The club grew to about 20 people shortly after forming, and they did several projects, including cleaning up trash along highways and tidying up cemeteries that had been neglected. Their largest and most long-lasting project is providing comfort and fellowship to members of the community.
“One of the first projects we did as a group was to prepare and deliver food to people or families,” Wood remembers. “That is still one of the projects we do today.”
Although the number of members has decreased, the group is still very active in the community, and always looks for projects or activities to help with, such as providing candy for the school’s trick-or-treat event. Before COVID, they visited and played bingo with nursing home residents on a regular basis.
Members, who are now coming together again for regular meetings, also enjoy learning and sharing skills with one another.
“We sew, quilt, and do crafts and have learned from one another over the years,” she says. “Some of us are better seamstresses than others. We have members who were really good at making clothing, like Shelby Campbell. She was very talented when it came to making clothes and cooking. Every year, she entered multiple items into each category for our exhibit days. She was almost like my mother with the number of entries she had.”
While fellowship among the group is important, service is paramount to Wood.
“When you think about our purpose in life and what God instills in our hearts, helping other people is a natural thing for us to do,” Wood says. “If you are looking for a way to serve people, you can find something, even if it’s just a phone call to someone.”
Local Extension agent Marie Rogers says the group is always looking for ways to help people.
“This is a great group of women,” she says. “They do a lot of things under the radar. They buy school supplies for children and donate clothing and food to people who might not otherwise have these things.”