The Pittsburgh Chapter has assembled 2,400 kits for the Jordan Humanitarian Response Project. Two weeks ago, I didn’t think it was possible for us to reach our goal of completing the kits before the end of the year. We were only half way to our goal and realizing that we didn’t have enough liners. Sometimes being a collection point is heart breaking. We reached out to other DfG teams and chapters asking for help. In about 10 days we had enough liners!
Someday I plan to write about being a collection point in detail but for today I want to say that relationships with other local teams is the most important part. Our team is small (6-10) people on average weekly. I have two co-leaders and a few others that help me make ‘management’ decisions. I rely on this small group to lead other volunteers in bigger events. We have weekly zoom meetings that keep us in close contact with our other local groups. We keep in contact with other teams through zoom, facebook, instagram and email. And sometimes, I’m sure that our hearts are connected too.
I can not say ‘thank you’ enough to Pittsburgh North, Oakdale PA, Valencia PA, and Grove City PA for all of the work they do to help us reach our goals. These teams check in with us regularly to see what is needed and how they can help. All of these teams have carpooled in to help out. They all have members who will pick up and drop off items as soon as I ask. I can count on their components being the highest quality, and I know they can make repairs to comments we get in that are not of the high-test quality. Eagleville PA and Wayne PA are a little further away from us but will sometimes drive in to drop components off for these big projects. When I asked for help, they expedited shipping for more liners that arrived just when I was staring to despair. I need to shout out to Bridgeport WV too, during the last project they focused their attention on carry pouches and gave us a bunch to meet our goal and they made another delivery before this project to make sure we were set on carry pouches again. They make the best carry pouches I’ve ever seen. The Canton OH team has dropped off components for multiple projects too. They often stay for an entire day and help us out by checking and making repairs. They offered to drive more kits in this time too, but a sick puppy kept their driver at home. Luckily, we were ok without those extra ones, but it was amazing to know they were willing to make a trip out here to lend support again. The Murrysville PA team is just getting started again and came in to help us check components and ask questions to make sure they were on the right track. And we work with the DfG Pitt Club (and this year the Penn State Club) in addition to other student groups.
So, in reality, my small chapter is actually more than ten teams strong. And we are growing.
Being a collection point works so well for us because of the vision we have for leadership and teamwork. We are not a top down ladder (hierarchal and patriarchal structures have no place here). We are a web. Each connection makes us stronger and closer together.
Days for Girls teams/chapters/clubs:
You are welcome to join us for Wednesday zoom meetings 1:00 EST. We would love to connect with you! The link is pinned to the top of our facebook page.
Please email Pittsburgh@daysforgirls.org to find out what components are most needed. In between the big projects we continue to collect components, make repairs, organize components, and do some inventory counting and pre-packing.
If you need help learning how to use the quality standard guide (these are large papers with pink, green, and gold markings) please don’t hesitate to reach out to our chapter. I can also share with you the quality tool instructions from the virtual conference. Please email me for that as well using your DfG email. I can only provide this information to registered teams/chapters.
Remember the purpose of these quality controls is to meet washable standards in multiple countries, to ensure that our pads last for 3 years (or more), and so that each person who receives a kit feels as though she has received a life-changing gift.
If you are going to be in the Pittsburgh area (or want to drive in with a small group from your team) we would love it. Please email email@example.com to schedule visits and check out the volunteering in person guidelines below. We are covid cautious.
Here are the details for volunteering in person:
All volunteers must be vaccinated. Proof of vaccination (a picture of your vaccination card) must be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org prior to your arrival. Masks are required to be worn at all times.
The links to register as a single person for the events won’t work on my current version of WordPress, so if you are interested please email me for the link at email@example.com.
Students also have access to the single person registration, so if you register for those times, you will have the opportunity to interact with students. Student groups are scheduled Monday evenings from 6-8pm. If you are interested in helping with those groups, contact me directly because depending on the group size I need to limit my volunteer numbers to maintain our capacity restrictions.
For those who want to volunteer with limited exposure, we have available times on Monday and Wednesday mornings. This group is vaccinated and booster-ed and limits more carefully the number of people they interact with (unfortunately students don’t have that luxury), so students won’t be part of this mix.
If you are not in the Pittsburgh area here are ways you can help:
Donate to The Pittsburgh Chapter or purchase needed materials from amazon wish list or a JoAnn Fabric Gift Card, and arrange for a safe drop off to one of our team members or to our host church. Wish list items can be shipped directly to Third Presbyterian Church. We will use the donated items for this project and any surplus items donated will be allocated to the next project. Like our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram @dfg_pgh to get the up-dates on how we’re doing and what items are most needed. At this early date we are in need of shipping boxes and packing tape (both can be found on our wishlist).