This was written for the Third Presbyterian Church newsletter (The Spire) in December. I asked my team to talk about what is meaningful about doing DfG in a church with a pastor. What does it mean to be a community doing this work? What is important to you? I sent them my paragraph as an example and asked them to write a few sentences in their own words.
Interpreting our mission: The Days for Girls team explains their work
I’m the Period Pastor. I make washable menstrual kits for people with periods all over the world, and I use this work to engage our local community. My job is to run the Pittsburgh Chapter of Days for Girls and to interpret that mission as a vital part in the lives of the people of God. This work incorporates our Matthew 25 goals and our strategic plan for mission. What we at Third Church call Matthew 25 goals, our neighbors would call social justice work. Many of them are attracted to DfG because caring for people with periods means that they are caring for people who are vulnerable, poor, and oppressed. Together, we are building a community that cares about similar issues and most importantly, each other. My role in this community is organizer and pastor, which means I handle the practical sewing matters and provide pastoral care for this community. ~Karie
I support Pastor Karie as we sew each component of the DfG Kit. I see how she guides us to each kit’s completion by using the skills and talents of different DfG team members. We are meeting a “physical” need of girls and women who benefit by being able to stay in school or work to support their families. I see this as true mission work and see my part in this project as my contribution to serving others helping others achieve their goals. We have embraced college students, teaching them to sew and to serve others. We also work with women who are coming out of prison. This group needs community service, but they also need the loving acceptance of women who will give them a safe place to grow. This challenging population provides us with ways to grow spiritually. I am grateful that the Third Church provides us a place to welcome women from the community to learn and grow together. ~Constance
I have been involved in DfG for about 3 years. I joined the Team being created in my area as I love to sew. I know I am helping those who have no access to disposable menstrual products that we take for granted in our country. Sending completed kits to those in need brings great satisfaction that I have helped someone less fortunate than myself. I have gained new relationships with church members others in our area who are part of our Team. We are all in this together to provide a well-made and useful product and have created strong relationships doing so. We all have the same goals and take pride in our work to make a quality product. I have learned so much from Pastor Karie by helping at the Chapter and taking this knowledge back to my Team members. We are all Blessed in so many ways by being a part of the DfG organization. ~Liz
Our work with Days for Girls connects us to so many across the world—those helping and those in need—thanks to the steady direction of Karie, a selfless, witty, brilliant leader and coordinator. It is Karie who guides us—with words and example—and gives us hope and heart. We owe all the benefits deriving from our work to Karie. ~Jim and Nita
As a college student new to the area, I was looking for ways to get involved with the local community. Through DfG I was not only able to make connections locally but also globally by working with individuals passionate about ending period poverty. ~Rachel
I’ve never told Karie this but, being a part of the DFG team and having a safe place to relax while doing good saved me from dropping out of collage my sophomore year. I found DFG while looking for an organization I could volunteer for, for court mandated community service. I was in a really low place and felt very alone. Once I found DfG I completed my hours and started to put more in for the sheer enjoyment being there gave me. Karie and the other DfG members always made me feel welcome and loved. College can feel so lonely sometimes so having a consistent group of people who genuinely cared about me gave me the motivation to stay in Pittsburgh and continue to go to school. I now run a club on Chatham’s campus where I get to bring so many people to DFG and let them experience the love and support that was given to me, all while doing thoughtful and necessary work. ~Kate