“And so we endeavor to pass on to others that which has benefited us,” is part of the Extension Homemaker’s Creed that is said at each meeting and helps to set forth why this group would want to establish the Franklin County Extension Homemakers Scholarship Endowment in the Franklin County Community Foundation.
When the Franklin County Extension Homemakers were organized in 1913 as domestic science clubs affiliated with Purdue University, the basic idea of sharing knowledge, caring for self, family and community while enjoying the company of others continues today. Each township and some towns had a club in the early years. Lesson leaders- trained university staff- would meet with a representative from each club to present information on a topic and then the members would take the information back to their club and share it. The topics were always of something of importance at the time. During World War I, lessons on how to use food rations and the remaking of clothing were given. World War II saw lessons on how to recycle everything and planting gardens that would feed a lot of people. That principle still is how lessons are made available today but technology has helped many more subjects be accessible. As needs were identified in the community, the clubs would help- donating picnic tables for the Franklin County Park, having a hot lunch program at a rural school, making teddy bears for EMS units, sponsorship of 4-H clubs, formed a card file of homes in the county for the local fire departments and established the Immunization Clinic in the Franklin County Health Department.
Throughout these years the need for higher education at the university level or technical level was seen by the membership. Each year an activity was used as a way to raise money for a scholarship. Some years the funds came from a drawing for a quilt made by the members, baskets drawings in the Red Barn during fair and a quilt show during the Brookville Bicentennial. Applications for the scholarship were accepted and the recipient was announced at an awards program. The opportunity for matching funds through the Lilly GIFT VI initiative at the Franklin County Community Foundation and current funds of the Extension Homemakers joined together will further assure that a scholarship will be given in the future.