Kentucky Master Volunteer in Clothing Construction


Creating Soft LuggageThe Kentucky Master Volunteer in Clothing Program is an outgrowth of volunteer interest and concern for a longtime Extension program (sewing) which had received little attention during the late 1980's. The program's beginning can be traced to the enthusiasm and zeal of three volunteer leaders, Dorothy Schwantes, Scott County; Sue Bradford, Harrison County; and, Marlene McComas, Grant County. These women represented Kentucky and participated in the 1989 National 4-H Clothing & Textile Leadership Forum sponsored by the National 4-H Council and the Craft Yarn Council of America. Upon their return, a core committee was formed consisting of the three volunteers plus two Extension professionals, Linda Heaton, Textiles & Clothing Specialists and Karen Hicks, 4-H/Youth Development Specialist. The committee prepared and applied for a seed grant from the Craft Yarn Council to begin their work to stimulate and infuse the Kentucky clothing. What transpired was a carefully structured interdisciplinary statewide venture between Home Economics and 4-H/Youth that focused on clothing construction. The first statewide volunteer training was conducted in November 1990.

The program was founded on, and continues to function around four major thrusts.

Program Goals:

  • To reach, teach and involve community clientele to affect behavior change and improve family living.
  • To provide in-depth ongoing educational opportunities for volunteers enrolled in the program.
  • To train volunteers who can help local Cooperative Extension professionals with planning, implementing and evaluating educational programs in clothing.
  • To expand current educational offerings and increase outreach opportunities to clientele.