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Clothing volunteers use social media in recruitment
By Kaitlyn Byrne
MSU Office of Ag Communications
MISSISSIPPI STATE -- A social media workshop recently taught Mississippi’s Master Clothing Volunteers how to reach out to new members through Facebook and Pinterest.
During the annual conference held at Mississippi State University, members of the MSU Extension Service’s Master Clothing Volunteer Program learned not only new sewing techniques and leadership skills, but also how to promote their community work. Using social media platforms such as Facebook and Pinterest, the volunteers can help youth, families and community groups learn how to buy, construct and care for clothes and other textile or fabric items.
Mariah Smith, assistant Extension professor with the Extension Center for Technology Outreach, showed volunteers how to use social media to share ideas and information with each other and potential new members. The volunteers learned how to post meetings, schedules and workshops on Facebook. They learned how to use Pinterest to share photos of their work and ideas that inspire them.
“Social media is a great tool to connect this group and their talents to other people who have a budding interest in sewing or clothing construction but may not know where to go,” Smith said.
Though the participants were hesitant at first, Smith said they created accounts, uploaded photos and began taking ownership of their social media presence. She said the participants particularly enjoyed finding new ideas on Pinterest and thought it would be a helpful way to reach out to younger adults who want to learn how to sew.
“They began to use the site and see the potential for sharing information and resources. It led to a lively discussion within the class of how it could best be used,” Smith said. “The volunteers are extremely passionate about what they do, and that passion for sewing comes through in how they reach out to others, even over social media.”
MCV treasurer Carolyn Floyd of Rankin County said the conference provided opportunities to try new things, including social media. Floyd said the conference was a good way to talk to members and share ideas for classes taught by MCV members in their respective counties.
“I think all of us were able to stretch our minds and take something new home,” she said. “It may not be something we will launch into with a class right away, but it will encourage us to try new things. We need to be able to stay ahead of the classes we teach.”
Floyd said MCV helps connect people with a passion for sewing, and she looks forward to using the skills she learned during the conference to help introduce more people to sewing and MCV.
“This year we had several Extension agents in the group who do not have MCV groups in their counties,” she said. “I hope they will let people in their counties know about us and help them to join us. Sewing has been shown to offer many benefits besides a new outfit or item for the home.”
For more information about the MCV program, call Extension associate Sylvia Clark at 662-325-3032.