CEOS Record of Success
Doug Hovatter, Extension educator and Assistant Professor
Often we are asked about CEOS and WVU Extension Service. Who are WE? What do WE do? These are not simple questions to answer because of the complex mission both organizations strive to achieve. The Record of Success for CEOS proves Strengthening of Relationships since 1914. “We Serve the People, We Are the People.”
West Virginia University Extension Service
The mission of the West Virginia University Extension Service is to form learning partnerships with the people of West Virginia to enable them to improve their lives and communities. To these partnerships, we bring useful research- and experience-based knowledge that facilitates critical thinking and skill development.
The Smith-Lever Act of 1914 authorized the work of the Cooperative Extension Service in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the land grant colleges. State legislation enables local counties to become a third partner in the system. The WVU Extension Service helps individuals in developing relevant skills and addressing critical issues. Organizations such as West Virginia CEOS Council enhance the impact of the University’s educational program.
West Virginia Community Educational Outreach Service
The West Virginia CEOS is a nonprofit, educational organization established in 1914. Membership is open to all individuals without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, or national origin.
The mission of the organization is to strengthen individuals and families through continuing education, leadership development, and community service. They extend information received from the Extension Service, faculty and other reliable resources, to the membership and others in the community thereby improving their quality of life. Through this process, the teaching and leadership skills of the membership are developed and community resources are enhanced.
Farm Women’s Club
CEOS has a rich and long history. Several Clubs were chartered in 1918. Known then as a Farm Women’s Club, they quickly became an organization for giving and action.
Areas of giving and strengthening relationships through Farm Women Clubs from 1920 to 1941 include donations to the Red Cross, Cancer Control, China Flood Relief, Infantile Paralysis, and War Bonds, served at the local USO Center and helped Flood Suffers Relief.
Home Demonstration Clubs
In the 1940’s the name was changed to Home Demonstration Clubs. Their service and strengthening relationships continued. They helped prepare and serve hot lunches in local schools, took part in music festivals, helped the Red Cross make by making bandage kits, and bought several thousand dollars in War and Victory Bonds. In the 1950-60’s gave to the March of Dimes, Pennies for Friendship, Community Chest Fund, served hundreds of meals to the Rotary, Kiwanis, Chamber of Commerce and other organizations.
Since 1920 they have helped at our County Fairs. They gave to the United Givers Fund Community Chest before it was known as the United Way, donated books to area libraries, and assisted at local Red Cross Blood Drives.
In the 70’s the organization’s name was changed to Extension Homemakers. They continue to this day to give, serve and strengthen relationships in their community. From Meals on Wheels, Read Aloud, Cancer Awareness, C-Cap, Rescue Mission, 4-H Camps, County Fairs, to donation of cakes for the Welcome Home from Dessert Storm. These are just a few examples of strengthening relationships conducted by the CEOS.
WVU Extension Service collaborates with CEOS to develop leadership in projecting future program direction and identifying goals common to the objectives and purposes of each partner. WVU Extension Service assigns appropriate faculty as advisors to each county council to provide educational programs and program resources.
WVU Extension Service works to create opportunities for West Virginia CEOS Members to develop and practice leadership skills. We also advise CEOS Members to be familiar and comply with the intent of affirmative action legislation. We also help identify programs to recognize, support, and report accomplishments of CEOS Members.
Both organizations are working to develop and/or implement educational programs, which strengthen individuals, families, and communities. We promote personal development and opportunities for volunteer leadership by letting members accept responsibility. So, members accept responsibility as a commitment to their programs. We encourage individuals and families to participate in public decisions and processes that affect them. We encourage families and communities in developing leadership and support systems. “We Serve the People, We Are the People.”
CEOS Record of Success
The Record of Success for the CEOS is Strengthening of Relationships since 1914 are complex, involved and continuing to grow and change each year. The CEOS is full of energy, exciting and a powerful organization because of their quest for knowledge and desire of service for their communities and state. As we Strengthen Relationships across this great state, we can take comfort in knowing CEOS and WVU Extension Service has a proven record of caring, dedicated service and a desire of knowledge. Perhaps this best describes and explains Community Educational Outreach Service and WVU Extension Service as we strive to meet our common mission: Caring, Service, and desire of Knowledge.