Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Days for Girls How can we Help?

I am so happy to have Cindy from Days For Girls with us here today to share a little bit about the Days for Girls organization and what it is all about. So I will let Cindy take it away...

Heather, thank you so much for the opportunity to make a guest appearance on your blog! Days for Girls is so excited to be invited here to share a message. And I am really excited to write my first ever blog post!! So let me tell you how I got involved with Days for Girls.

Every year I faithfully donate to the charities of my choice through the CFC (the Federal Employees version of the United Way). Each year I meet the challenge to increase my donation by a percentage. Each Fall I pour over the booklet listing the approved charities to find one or two to whom I want to give. I look for the charities with the lowest overheads and I check out their website if they have one.

In the end, my giving feels kind of empty. I always wish I knew how the money is used and if it really helps. I always feel I should be more emotionally involved in charity than a mindless donation taken from my paycheck every two weeks. Well, this fall my wishes came true with a Facebook post from my beautiful sister LaPriel, who’s heart is so big!

It said,

Give a Girl Back Every Day of Her Life

What if not having feminine hygiene supplies kept you isolated during menstruation?

• No school for days
• No income for days
• No access to hygiene … for days

It happens every day to women in third world countries.

Handing out Kits in Kenya (Photo taken by Cheyenne Ellis)

And then LaPriel asked for help for this charity called Project Thrive, Days for Girls that provided washable feminine hygiene products to young girls and women in underdeveloped countries. These women had only unsanitary rags, or newspapers, or leaves and twigs, or nothing at all and had to miss days of school or work each month to deal with their menstrual periods.

When I thought about the impacts not having these most basic needs met would have on these women, their families, their communities, their countries, and on our world, it was heart breaking. One of those really big world problems, you know, that weigh you down.

Then I thought how I could go into my sewing studio and with my own hands make something beautiful and useful that Days for Girls would take to those women in need. I realized that in a very personal and quiet way, I could help to bring peace to this world, one pad at a time. Can you imagine? This is what I had been looking for. This is what I needed to do.

Colorful Pads ready to go

So, my lovely baby sister “sponsored” me with my first 10 yards of luscious soft diaper flannel from Very Baby (www.verybaby.com). I washed and ironed (yea, I ironed it smooth!) and cut diaper flannel in preparation for a Saturday sewing day where my daughter, my 9 year old granddaughter, and I spent the day surging and sewing square liners to go inside the waterproof shields being made by my sister that would make up a washable menstrual pad.

Flannel Pad Tri-fold Liner

It was my granddaughter’s first time sewing on the surger – she finished all the edges on the flannel. She worked the machine all day and loved it! We all had a great day together with opportunities to discuss menstrual periods, giving to others, and what the lives of the young girls and women on the other side of the world might be like. It was a day I will always treasure.

Within a couple of weeks, we had 150 pad liners in a box ready to be mailed to the Days for Girls Headquarters – or the “She Castle” as it is called – in Lynden, Washington. It felt exciting and a little scary to send that box of liners off. What if they got lost? We tracked the box until it arrived safely and got the nicest post on the Days for Girls Facebook page telling us how beautiful they were.

It’s hard to believe that it has been just five short months since I made that decision. Days for Girls is such a part of my everyday life. I am privileged to be working closely with Celeste Mergens, the Director of Project Thrive developing and maintaining the Project Thrive and Days for Girls website (www.ProjectThrive.org) and working on the Big Blue Marble Tradeup fundraiser team (www.bigbluemarble.org). My involvement has enriched my life in so many ways and I am privileged to be a part of something so important and so world changing.

Celeste Mergens, Director Project Thrive with Girls in Kenya

So, what can YOU do?

February is Send Your Love Month! Days for Girls is aiming for 500 kits in one month to fill requests to Cambodia, Zimbabwe, Haiti, and Madagascar. That's 5,000 liners, 1,000 shields, 500 undies, 500 washcloths, 500 drawstring bags, 1,000 baggies... well, you get it. So we need everyone’s help to accomplish this work. If this touches your heart in any way, make a goal that fits your life and circumstances and be a part of something wonderful. Together we can do it! World Peace, one pad at a time!

To keep up with what is going on with Days for Girls, watch our website www.ProjectThrive.org and our Facebook pages, Days for Girls and Days for Girls Super Volunteers. Days for Girls is a program of Project Thrive, a US registered non-profit organization.

Wow, Thank you so much Cindy for sharing this amazing program with us. This really brought tears to my eye. I can't imagine living without the modern conveniences that we have. If this has touched your heart at all please help! Blog about it send others here to read about it or to the main Days For Girls web page. Let's help them reach or exceed their goal!


lapriel_stein said...

Thanks Heather for posting this! It looks lovely.
Cindy, thanks for all of the hard work!

Heather said...

You are so very welcome!

Maggie said...

Just today I was discussing with my church's Women's group about the lack of sanitary items women both in our community and across the world have. I think I might just bring up this organization. Thanks for sharing!


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