CROUSE â€” The little old ladies of the Crouse Home Extension Club â€” and some men, too â€” are â€œpacking upâ€ and reaching out to the community.
The club, which started over 50 years ago, is putting on a school supply and backpack drive for local, needy children in August, asking the community for donations.
â€œThe Crouse Extension is a volunteer club and we are supposed to be doing good works,â€ said club member Sadie Hoover.
The club meets every third Monday of the month at 3:30 p.m. at Hooverâ€™s home in Crouse. The club was originally for people in Crouse, but members recently decided to invite the entire community to join.
â€œThe Crouse club decided to extend because it was shrinking because many people [in the club] had passed away,â€ said Judy Sackett, club member.
Fatz Cafe is helping the club during its school supply drive. The restaurant is a drop-off point for people to bring supplies for the drive.
Byron Sackett, operating manager for Fatz, says that if a customer donates a backpack on Mondays or Tuesdays during the month of August, they will receive a complimentary dessert or appetizer.
â€œWeâ€™re just trying to give back to the community,â€ he said.
The club is accepting any school supplies a child might need, including notebooks, crayons, rulers and glue.
When everything is collected, the group will pack up the backpacks and give them to Melinda Houser at the main office, who will give the packs to the school, Judy Sackett said.
The members also designate what grade level each pack is for.
The school supply drive is just one of the many projects the club participates in during the year.
To help the American Red Cross, the club is putting together supply kits for victims who have been burned out of their homes.
The kits include basic toiletry items such as toothpaste, washcloths, deodorant and brushes. Each kit is personalized for men, women and children. The child kit also includes a book or a toy.
Any donations can also be brought to Fatz Cafe.
â€œWe donâ€™t realize it, but it is the small things that we take for granted until we lose them,â€ Judy Sackett said.
The extension club also spends time working with Amyâ€™s House during the months of June and December.
From Aug. 15 – 19, fried pies will be sold to the community and apple pies will be sold at the Apple Festival in September.
Club members have received a lot of support from the community but are always looking for more help and more members.
â€œAnything anyone would like to contribute we would be glad to take it,â€ Judy Sackett said.
Currently, the club has 20 members, all of which are very close.
â€œWeâ€™re a tight group,â€ said club member Jeanette Aliff. â€œWe have luncheons and we go out to dinner together.â€
The three male members donâ€™t even have a problem with the club nickname, â€œThe Little Old Ladies Club.â€
â€œIt doesnâ€™t bother me,â€ said club member Bryan McSwain.
If anyone would like to join or has questions, they can contact Sadie Hoover at (704) 735-2649 or Judy Sackett at (704) 470-4035.
by Mary Williams