WESTMINSTER -- Members of the Future Homemakers of America chapter at Westminster High School are sharing their skills to help those in need.
As part of a planned community service project, home economics students have been working since last March with women and children living in the new shelter at 10 Distillery Drive.
"We run a project every year in our Future Homemakers of America chapter from March to March," said home economics teacher Joan Harrington. "We have done other projects with Social Services over the years, but nothing this extensive. This project is more well planned, and we are working toward more goals."
Ms. Harrington and home economics teacher Beverly Moore serve as advisers to Westminster High School's FHA chapter.
The two women, along with some 45 FHA members, are participating in this year's project with the shelter.
Jenny Carter, president of Westminster High School's FHA chapter, said the shelter project engages students from all areas of home economics.
"Some people like to cook, so they go to the shelter and do food demonstrations," said the 14 year-old sophomore. "Some people make centerpieces for the tables because they like to work with flowers. Others . . . go over to baby sit.
"We seem to have more people interested in the community service projects. I think we will all get a lot out of this project."
So far, board games for children, place mats and art work have been distributed at the shelter. Members of the club have also donated clothing.
Barbara Brown, volunteer coordinator for Human Services Programs of Carroll County, said the high school students have shown their support of the homeless through their project.
"They have taken the shelter on as their own private project. They have made some wonderful things for the people in the shelter. They have made some great board games for the children, complete with all the necessary pieces. They also organized a cooking class, which gave the women in the shelter some pointers on how to make the commodity foods, like canned chicken, palatable."
Ms. Harrington said that while making games and place mats is important, there are other goals associated with the shelter project.
"We want to develop leadership skills by expanding services to the community through class activities," explained Ms. Harrington. "We want to integrate FHA into the classroom, so other students can have a part in the shelter project. We also want to involve community members and other teachers."
Each year, with guidance and help from their advisers, FHA members have selected community projects to carry out during the year.
recognition of their efforts, the Westminster chapter was chosen for the third consecutive year as the Maryland state winner in the 1992 Nutra-Sweet Giving It 100% award. The award is given each year to the chapter that has achieved excellence in community service.
Future Homemakers of America is a national vocational student organization. It has involved more than 8 million youths since its founding in 1945 and is the only in-school student organization that uses the family as its focus.