What is a "Master Volunteer"?

The “Master Volunteer” concept is an outgrowth of the Cooperative Extension Service’s tradition of working with volunteers. “Master Volunteers” offer a level of community service that expands upon the traditional volunteer role. They are dedicated individuals who have some prior knowledge of the subject matter and they strive to increase their own skill set.


The University of Kentucky’s “Master Clothing Volunteer” Program has been empowering community leaders since 1990. The program is tailored to meet the specific needs and organizational structure of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension System. Volunteers accepted to the Program are trained to help local Cooperative Extension Professionals with planning, implementing, and evaluating educational programs related to sewing and clothing construction.

Download AND Print Application HERE:

Structure & Organization

  • The Kentucky “Master Clothing Volunteer” Program is administered through the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service. It is supported by County Extension Agents with the help of the Master Clothing Volunteer State Coordinator.
  • The Program is designed to serve youth and adults from all Kentucky counties. Beneficiaries include 4-H members, Extension Homemaker Clubs, and other community groups.
  • Policies and procedures are modeled after other “Master Volunteer” Programs. A Steering Committee with rotating members monitors current operations.

Applicants Should

  • Have basic knowledge and demonstrate good skills in sewing and clothing construction.
  • Be motivated to help and work
  • with others.
  • Be willing and able to commit to the program on a yearly basis. This includes accumulating 100 hours of volunteer time and continuing education every two years.

Accepted Volunteers Will

  • Become members of a working team that provides valuable educational services to Kentucky communities.
  • Acquire additional sewing skills and clothing construction knowledge.
  • Gain leadership experience, improve teaching skills and build self-esteem.
  • Have opportunities to network with other volunteers across the Commonwealth who love and practice the art of sewing.

Volunteer Application and Selection Process

  • Individuals with basic knowledge and good skill techniques in sewing and clothing construction are encouraged to apply.
  • Applications are available at your County Extension Office. Applicants are screened by a County Committee and notified of their application status by letter.
  • Accepted applicants then progress to an “Area” Committee evaluation that includes an assessment of recent sewing projects.
  • Each geographically designated “Area” selects a maximum of two (2) applicants to become Master Clothing Volunteer Candidates to participate in a two-year basic training. Training begins in the Fall of “even” numbered years.
  • Accepted volunteers are provided with training opportunities over the course of a two-year initiation process. During that time, a volunteer’s skills are monitored, and they commit to volunteer a specified amount of time sharing their enhanced expertise with others.
  • Successful completion of the two-year training earns the status of “Certified ” Master Clothing Volunteer.

For more information about the Master Clothing Volunteer Program please contact Natalie Taul at (270)259-3492 or natalie.taul@uky.edu