December 14, 2021 | By: Jordan Strickler
Lexington, Ky.

University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, Food and Environment Cooperative Extension agents have always prioritized giving back to their communitiesKentucky Extension Association of Family Consumer Sciences members showcased their volunteer skills during the recent KEAFCS Day of Giving.  

The project fell on the heels of the annual Kentucky Extension Conference which provides professional development training to Kentucky extension professionals. This year organizers gave conference attendees an opportunity to serve Lexington-area non-profit organizations.  

“We thought this year might be an opportunity to do something different,” said Leslie Workman, Pike County family and consumer sciences extension agent. “One of the best ways to engage with our audience and to do something different for agents was to do service projects. This was really cool because as part of family consumer sciences, it’s good to connect with the people who we serve in a new and fun way.” 

During the three-hour service project, members: 

  • made 325 sandwich meals for the Catholic Action Center 

  • created 50 fleece blankets for senior living centers 

  • made 18 walker and wheelchair caddies 

  • wrote 662 letters to Santa for UK Staff Senate’s chosen charity, Make-A-Wish 

  • worked with Food Chain to clean aquaponic tanks 

  • helped The Nest: Reindeer Express organize coats, toys, books and gifts for 800 families 

  • worked with Natalie’s Sisters to pack 75 holiday care packages for women working in prostitution and in crisis 

  • repurposed food and provided meals to UK students with UK’s Campus Kitchen, reducing food waste in the process 

“I really enjoyed being able to connect with other members throughout the state in which I normally wouldn’t have the pleasure of serving beside,” said Mindy McCulley, extension specialist for instructional support. “It was great not only helping the community, but joining forces with other FCS professionals around other parts of Kentucky.” 

"It was our pleasure to welcome FCS volunteers to the Campus Kitchen at the University of Kentucky housed in the Department of Dietetics and Human Nutrition” said Kendra OoNorasak, director of Campus Kitchen. “We raised awareness about food waste and food insecurity issues on campus and in the community as well as our Campus Kitchen's efforts and model that can be replicated in high schools in other counties. I believe this is a great example of intergenerational learning and civic engagement." 

The KEAFCS is the Kentucky affiliate of the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. The NEAFCS, which is in its 87th year of operation, is a nationally recognized organization that educates and recognizes university extension professionals who improve the quality of life for individuals, families and communities. 

Contact: 

Contact: Melinda McCulley, mindy.mcculley@uky.edu