Keeping Community and Volunteering at a Distance: Part 2

In case you missed the original post: Keeping Community and Volunteering at a Distance

Here is the up-date:

The closures due to COVID-19 issues have changed our Chapter dramatically and continue to present us with challenges. Without being able to meet in person, we have swtiched to zoom meetings and safe drop off/pick ups to keep making kits. We were thrilled to find out that Global Links was able to ship kits and have an Ambassador for Women’s Health trained person meet the shipment to distribute the kits. You can read more about that in 500 Kits to Nicaragua.

One of the most meaningful ways to be engaged in the Days for Girls work is to take the Ambassador for Women’s Health Training. It is free and online. It takes a good bit of time to complete, but it is well worth it. For the person getting the training, they are receiving great health information that they can pass along to others and seeing why DFG works the way they do. For me, I’m getting a volunteer that has invested time and energy into learning more about the work of the overall organization and is therefore another advocate for making sure our quality controls are followed. This is a win for all of the people who volunteer and for the girls and women who receive our kits. If you have not done so, please consider taking this training course. Link below.

DFG shared a video of International Chapters Director Leyla Isin-Xiong who takes us on a deep dive into the DfG Impact Zones and shares the important “why” behind this new model. I’ve added this to the list of items volunteers can watch. The video really shares some great information! Link below.

The leadership team is thinking about ways we can give volunteers a more hands on opportunity like they are used to getting in our sewing room. It was important for us to make sure new volunteers really understood the mission of DFG before we trained them to sew so the last item on the list includes what volunteer must complete before we consider meeting with them to teach them and give them patterns. We have created the document below to help engage volunteers and we will keep brainstorming.


Volunteering with the Pittsburgh Chapter of Days for Girls

Email: Pittsburgh@daysforgirls.org

  1. Like our Facebook page
  2. Join our weekly zoom meetings Wednesdays at 4:00-6:00.  The link for the meeting is pinned to the top of our Facebook page.
  3. Take the Ambassador for Women’s Health Training This will help you understand our mission and allow you to distribute kits.  And… we will put your name and picture on our wall of fame.  When you complete your training take a picture with your certificate and any other DFG swag and email it in!
  4. Watch the Days for Girls Video from International Chapters Director Leyla Isin-Xiong who takes us on a deep dive into the DfG Impact Zones and shares the important “why” behind this new model.
  5. Make a monetary donation to The Pittsburgh Chapter or to Days for Girls International or purchase needed materials and arrange for a safe drop off.
  6. Prepare Wash Cloths for up-coming distributions:
    • Wash cloths must be 100% cotton
    • Avoid white wash cloths (they can be dyed but we would rather have bright colors to start with)
    • Remove all tags
    • Fold to fit into transport bags video
    • Link to buy wash cloths.  This is just one resource.  You could find similar items at your favorite supply chains.  
  7. Prepare underwear for up-coming distributions:
    • Underwear must be 100% cotton
    • Avoid white underwear (they can be dyed but we would rather not)
    • DFG underwear styles may not include boy shorts (the shield will not snap around the extra material).  Please also avoid “skimpy” underwear.  
    • Girls sizes 10, 12, 14, 16 and Women’s 5. (Girls size 16 and Women’s size 5 are usually the same size.) Preferably a cotton blend brief (nylon causes chafing).
    • No faces or animals. 
    • Remove all tags
    • Use the DFG standard size tool and sort underwear by those sizes (we will provide you with the tool)
    • Link to buy underwear.  This is just one resource.  You could find similar items at your favorite supply chains.  
  8. Gather hotel size bar soap and arrange for a safe drop off at Third Church.
    • If you ask other people for donations be sure to say bar soap, we cannot send liquid soap in the kits.
    • Link to buy soap This is just one resource.  You could find similar items at your favorite supply chains.  
  9. 100% woven cotton fabric and 100% cotton flannel are used in the making of kits.  
    • Bright busy colors are encouraged (please no white or light backgrounds).  
    • Please do not donate fabric that has faces or animals 
    • Fabric must be unused to ensure quality/durability of the kits
    • Link to buy fabric . This is just one resource.  You could find similar items at your favorite supply chains.  
    • Link to buy flannel.  This is just one resource.  You could find similar items at your favorite supply chains.  
  10. Volunteer to launder, dye, and iron fabrics as needed.
    1. Link to by dye.  This is just one resource.  You could find similar items at your favorite supply chains.  
  11. Cut, pin, and prep fabrics to be sewn.
  12. For volunteers wishing to sew components we require that you do items 1, 2, 3, 4, 11 and select one other item from the list to complete.  After that we will discuss how to train in a safe way so that you can sew at home.  We want to be sure that new sewists embrace the mission of DfG before we give them access to the patterns.  Our leadership team continues to discuss and discern best methods for sewing training that ensure DFG Gold Standards and follow safety protocols for COVID-19.  

If you have ideas and suggestions please email them to me (or comment below). I am in desperate need of a system to record volunteers and their contact information that does not require me to do hours of data entry. I brought home every piece of paper I have with names/emails/phone numbers but I have still managed to avoid the chore even with being isolated in my own home.

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