• Four people and the words, Extension Matters.

Serving Up Paper

An elderly woman holds a scrapbook page while sitting behind a table full of several more pages.
MHV member Sue Honeycutt loves connecting with people in the community.

Local volunteer shares paper crafts in community

Story by Leah Barbour • Photos by Kevin Hudson

Back in 1991 when she retired, Prentiss County resident Sue K. Honeycutt had figured out that connecting with people in the community leads to great outcomes, both for the giver and the receiver.

When people get involved in their community, she explains, they start building networks. Not only do people build connections with leaders, colleagues, and fellow collaborators, but they meet a range of new people, too, Honeycutt says.

“My mother was a member of the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers for several years. The name of it back then was the Home Demonstration Club,” Honeycutt remembers. “I had seen her be a member, and, as I got time to do it myself, I thought I might be interested. When I joined, she decided she would join again, too.

“I just wanted to be involved with people. I’ve been involved!”


Video by Leah Barbour

The volunteer group, known as MHV for short, gives people the chance to improve family and community life through service. Members learn new skills, and they apply them to benefit others. Local Mississippi State University Extension Service agents deliver the MHV program.

About 10 years ago, then-Prentiss County Extension Agent Shelaine Pennington readily agreed when Honeycutt asked to teach a 6-week course, Paper Crafting 101. Honeycutt enjoyed it so much—participants developed scrapbooking skills and learned how to make items using papers—she wanted to start an MHV club focused on papercrafting, scrapbooking, and card-making.

“At the end of that 6 weeks, we had about 12 or 15 people say, ‘Let’s keep doing this.’ I said, ‘Let’s form a homemaker club that’s a special interest club where we do paper crafting,’” Honeycutt explains. “I asked them to think of a good name for the group, and one of them came up with ‘paper dolls,’ and we’ve been the Paper Dolls MHV Club ever since.”

One service project the Paper Dolls Club completes each month is making and delivering tray cards for the local hospital, Booneville Baptist Hospital. Other regular projects include creating bookmarks for the local library, Booneville George E. Allen Library, and developing teacher-appreciation kits featuring encouraging notes and cards.

“Every year at our January meeting, we settle our year’s work. We pass around a sheet of paper and let everyone sign up,” Honeycutt says. “I’m the oldest one in the group, and I think they all think of me as their momma.”

For years, the Paper Dolls Club made cards for the military, but, as restrictions to ensure service members’ safety have increased, now the club takes a different approach. One member’s daughter gathers the letters and sends them on to military families.

Members also collect supplies and make cards for residents of Landmark Nursing Home.

“MHV gives me the opportunities to have fun and fellowship, make new friends, and learn new things from Extension personnel and my fellow volunteers,” Honeycutt emphasizes. “It also gives me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned, which will hopefully improve families, home life, and communities.

“I’ve certainly learned leadership, and the volunteer hours give me the opportunity to help other people and to interact with other people. I think of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who said, ‘I am a part of all that I have met.’”

WHAT EXTENSION HAS TO SAY…

“All these ladies have something to offer. They have a way to help someone else, and they can extend their knowledge. We have all different groups of friends here, and they take what they’ve learned here and share it out there. They’re improving someone’s life or at least making someone’s day better. They’re making a difference.” SKIP GLIDEWELL Prentiss County Extension Agent

MISSISSIPPI HOMEMAKER VOLUNTEERS IN ACTION

Local women are making a difference in Prentiss County!

THE CLUB

Crafty Ladies MHV

6 members

President: Judy George

 

Paper Dolls MHV

23 members

Co-Presidents: Sue Honeycutt and Christi Houston

Wheeler MHV

10 members

President: Kim McPeak

WHAT WE DO

We make things people need.

We share paper crafts that bring joy.

We help the community and do service projects for families.

WHY WE DO IT

“It means fellowship to me and making new friends.”

Lila Brasel, vice president

“MHV gives me the opportunity to help other people and interact with others.” Sue Honeycutt, co-president and secretary

MHV means just helping people; being of use to people around the community.”

Kim McPeak, president

 

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