The following (or something like it) will appear in the Third Presbyterian Church Spire (our monthly newsletter), so I thought I would share this update here too.
Days for Girls International Lebanon Emergency Response Project
On August 4th 2020, 2 explosions at the port of Beirut, Lebanon killed more than 150 people, injured 5,000+, and displaced 300,000+. We just received word that our amazing Days for Girls leaders in Lebanon are safe and continue to be on the frontlines of the response, but this tragedy is not over and in typical DFG fashion, we are stepping up to respond and invite you to join us!
As many of you may already know, we have the honor and privilege of watching the amazing work of Lebanon Country Coordinator Khayrieh and the 3 Lebanon Enterprises reach Syrian refugees with DFG Kits and education. Now, with the devastating impact of the explosions coupled with the impacts of COVID-19 and the widespread inflation making many products, like menstrual hygiene products, too expensive – DFG Lebanon is reporting increased scarcity and an urgent need for assistance.
The Pittsburgh Chapter Responded
We were approached by DFG International to see if we would be willing to be a collection point as we did just under a year ago for the refugee project. We knew it would be difficult with the building restrictions, but we agreed and decided we would make it work. Only Pastor Karie and her two co-leaders Constance and Carrie have been in our building to work in the DFG room.
Pittsburgh North DFG Team agreed to help us. They are able to have six people in their work room. We arranged a series of drop offs and pick-ups (mostly from Constance’s home in the North Hills) to get prep work to volunteers. The Pittsburgh North Team has assembled over 500 kits (and counting) that Karie will pick up this weekend to add to the 3300 (and counting) kits we have assembled at Third.
Several people picked up and dropped off items at Third Church. One of our surgical resident volunteers helped us create a wish list which she shared with friends and colleagues. She and a group of friends folded washcloths and rolled underwear before dropping them off with soap to help us complete kits. Some items from the wish list showed up at Third Church from anonymous donors. Ann, Joyce, and Susan picked up items, checked them and returned them earlier this week. We have arranged for a few local volunteers to borrow sewing machines and we hope to get another machine to a returning college student soon. She is a senior and didn’t want to miss helping out even while she is social distancing from everyone but her roommates.
Volunteering from a distance has been a challenge in some ways and a blessing in other ways. Through our weekly zoom meetings, we have fostered relationships with other teams and chapters including Pittsburgh North, Butler, Grove City and Oakdale. Returning students have checked in as well as students and community members brand new to our group. The DFG USA Director popped into our zoom meeting last Wednesday to cheer us on! If you want to join us, Like our Facebook page, (our zoom link is posted there). Pastor Karie updates her @periodpastor social media and blog with updates too.
There are many ways you can help us!
Make a monetary donation to The Pittsburgh Chapter or to Days for Girls International or purchase needed materials from amazon wish list or a JoAnn Fabric Gift Card, and arrange for a safe drop off. Wish list items can be shipped directly to Third Church.
These are the other posts about this project: