Grady County OHCE are now largely vaccinated, educated and ready to Zoom.
Members of the Oklahoma Home and Community Education group attended the Grady County Commissioners meeting on Monday.
To show their appreciation for the Grady County Commissioners' support, OHCE gave each Commissioners a small box with a big slice of cake.
In addition to presenting a proclamation declaring May 2-8 as OHCE Week, members discussed what they have accomplished over the last year.
Grady County OHCE is a group of 109 mostly senior women who are known for community projects as well as their homemade cooking served at the Grady County Free Fair.
“We haven’t been able to do what we normally do, but we’ve gotten quite a bit done,” Myrtle Elston, OHCE member, said.
In spite of the pandemic, Grady County OHCE have knocked out an impressive list of projects.
Over the last year, OHCE members made and donated:
- 2,000 masks
- 26 personal protective equipment sets for healthcare workers
- 100 tooth fairy pillows donated to local dentist offices
- 52 blankets for dialysis centers
- 32 dignity sheets donated to Grady County Fire Departments
- 17 caps for cancer patients
- Five Quilts of Honor for Veterans
- 26 surgical gowns
“While the past year was difficult because of dealing with Covid, we still found ways to communicate with others and to give back to our community,” Elston said.
Because so much communication now takes place over FaceTime and Zoom, OHCE held classes to learn how to use these applications.
“We found out it’s a need in the community,” Gina Calhoun, Family and Consumer Science Educator at OSU Extension, said.
Smartphones are pre-programmed and ready to go out of the box. However, those who are not used to communicating digitally may find them difficult to navigate.
“They give you a phone and they say ‘here,’” Calhoun said.
By learning how to effectively use digital communication, the members of OHCE have also gained new independence.
“The goal is to get us beyond asking our grandchildren for help,” Calhoun said.
Moreover, OHCE reached out to homebound residents during the pandemic. It was significant for these residents to have someone call and/or check on them during a time when many of their friends and relatives were staying home.
OHCE also donated funds to Mobile Meals, the Chickasha Soup Kitchen, ICAN! and donated food to food pantries.
Grady County OHCE also invested in the education of local youth by donating a total of 11 scholarships to graduating high school seniors. They also supplied books and stuffed animals to first grade students to encourage reading.
In addition, Grady County OHCE donated toys to Santa’s Workshop, sponsored poster competitions, a “Yard of the Month” beatification project and planted trees in honor of Grady County pioneers. Recently, OHCE planted a tree in honor of Ada Lois Sipuel Fisher at the Grady County Fairgrounds.