This up-date was written for Third Presbyterian Church’s September 2019 Spire and I thought I should share the news here too.
The Pittsburgh Chapter has been selected to quality control the kits sent from our “region” before they go on to World Vision to be shipped to the refugee camps in Lebanon, South Sudan, Afghanistan, and Somalia. That means the Third Church lounge is filled with boxes and bins as we sort out and quality control kits from other teams. We expect to receive around 6,000 kits. Other chapters are receiving kits for their regions that will be eventually shipped to World Vision in Sewickley. The total number of kits should be close to 40,000 with 10,000 kits going to each refugee camp.
We have learned a lot in this process. Our Quality Controls are good (part of the reason we were selected) but could be improved. While the process of checking each kit component can sometimes be overwhelming, it is a joy to know that we can ensure that every girl and woman (every menstruant, yes, not everyone who menstruates identifies as female) gets a quality product. My team is “sew” excited for the project! You can check out pictures and videos at the Days For Girls Pittsburgh Chapter Facebook Page. We recently uploaded a video of Constance demonstrating the quality control checking that we are doing (and we hope other DFG teams will also do before sending their kits). We hope to continue to add videos and pictures along the way.
Some Days for Girls teams and chapters have decided to personally deliver their kits instead of shipping them, so we have had opportunities to meet other “daisies” and hear about their adventures. An Ohio chapter that refers to themselves as “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pad” visited us at the end of August (You can find a picture of them on our Facebook page). It was great fun to work with them and dream of what we might be able to do together in the future. This project has brought us closer to other teams and chapters than we ever would have been able to do ourselves. The additional publicity for Days for Girls International has also increased our visibility locally and we are working on other community partnerships. It’s too soon to announce potential mission partners, but suffice it to say, we have a lot to look forward to.
Classes have begun for college students in our area, so we have some extra hands to help with the project. We are “sew” thrilled to have the students and hope to build connections between the different campus clubs (including the Pitt DFG Club) that are interested in helping the DFG Pittsburgh Chapter. Third Church provided a networking night for these groups at the end of August so that they could get to know one another and help each other. Together they can make a bigger impact on campus and with the organizations they support. These students are considering the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals Knowledge Platform just as Days for Girls International does. Providing girls and women the opportunity to manage their menstruation hygienically, safely, in privacy and with dignity meets six of the UN’s Goals. It feels Third-Church-y to support students who are empowering women, providing medical aid, and making the world a better (more sustainable) place.
Recently, we have added another group of volunteers from Easter Seals. Each Wednesday three women with special needs and their supervisor come for a few hours to help with the project and have lunch with us. They are an absolute joy to work with.
We still have opportunities for Third Church members to be involved in the refugee project. Constance and I have been meeting during the week to do some of the quality control and we would love to have some extra help. Some of the quality control is hard to do with our large group on Wednesday. We won’t need you to sew, but to have a good eye for detail.
I would like to thank Pastor John and the rest of the Third Church staff for making sure this project runs smoothly. They have been receiving extra visitors and coordinating with the deliveries of large boxes getting everyone and everything to the right place at the right time. Thank you to Third Church members for allow the extra physical space for the project and the extra space in my schedule to handle the details. I want to thank my amazing husband Kurtis who has been using his video editing skills to capture the exciting work we are doing. And for making sure dinner is hot and the chardonnay is cold when I get home after a long day.