Community Education Outreach Service members from the nine-county Beckley Area met Tuesday in Twin Falls Resort State Park’s Azalea Room, with the Wyoming County organization serving as host.

“We will share information from the nine counties about our activities,” explained Shirley Phillips, area representative.

Service is one of the most important factors of the CEOS, noted Carol Harmon, of Grant County, who serves as the West Virginia CEOS president.

Last year, CEOS members provided $6 million in volunteer service hours to a variety of community projects across the state, Harmon said.

“It was largely unrecognized,” she emphasized.

CEOS members are beginning to step out and be recognized, she said.

Members work quietly behind the scenes, offering volunteer services, collecting needed items, providing volunteer support, and partnering with other organizations and agencies, she said.

Among the numerous recipients of those volunteer projects has been veterans — those in VA hospitals or nursing homes, as well as individual veterans.

In addition to volunteer hours, Beckley Area CEOS members donated $5,000 to veteran causes.

The group’s “Socks For Soldiers” provided tons of socks and other items for soldiers currently serving in the military, Harmon said.

Other recipients include 4-H groups, public libraries, nursing homes, among numerous others.

Education is also a key component of CEOS, which operates with support from West Virginia University Extension Service. Extension faculty members serve as advisors to the community groups and provide program topics on current issues.

The first CEOS group, the Farm Women’s Club in Ohio County, was organized in 1914.

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