My cart
$0.00
0

My Cart

  • Your cart is currently empty.
Natural Oil Mom > Blog > Humanitarian News > How I Did Days For Girls
How I Did Days For Girls - Students Folding Liners blog - How I Did Days For Girls
June 25th, 2016

How I Did Days For Girls

About seven months after my teenage daughter passed away, I decided to start a Days for Girls chapter in my town. I had the opportunity to go to Dominican Republic on a doTERRA trip, and ended up helping distribute Days For Girls Kits with them and my sister Emili. I was trying to get my passion back in life after the loss of my daughter, and Days For Girls was just the thing to inspire me! I witnessed first-hand, the amazing effect that education and hand-sewn menstruation kits could have in the lives of teen girls, in strengthening their self-worth, keeping them in school and from exploitation. I knew it was just the thing my daughter would have loved to help with.

How I Did Days For Girls - IMG 8341 300x225 - How I Did Days For Girls

I had already committed to traveling with my husband, Mike, and 3 of our children to Bolivia on his annual humanitarian trip, and some of my siblings were planning to come with some of their children. I knew we would have extra luggage space. So I told Mike I wanted to create some Days For Girls kits to distribute in Bolivia on our trip. He thought it was a great idea, and so did my sister, Emili, who was coming on that trip too, and speaks fluent Spanish. So I knew we could do it, and I set an ambitious goal of 1000 kits.

How I Did Days For Girls - Days For Girls Hygiene Kits - How I Did Days For Girls

I got online on the Days For Girls website, and signed up as a chapter leader and enrolled in their online course. I posted on Facebook about it, and several people volunteered to help me. I announced it to my women’s church group, and they were very enthusiastic about helping. I scheduled one project a month at my church from 11 AM to 6 PM (although, I think 3-8 PM is a better time for those people who work), and posted the events on JustServe.org. I printed out all the patterns and information, to put into a notebook. I printed the shield and pocket patterns off on cardstock.

How I Did Days For Girls - Chalk board 300x225 - How I Did Days For Girls

I created a couple 4×6 glossy cards on PicMonkey.com and had them printed at Walgreens.com for 10 cents a piece, to hand out and post around town. One of the cards had information about the upcoming events, and the other had a list of the items we needed donated. These were great to hand out to people, and educate them about the project and our needs.

How I Did Days For Girls - Event Invite Days for Girls Cedar 200x300 - How I Did Days For Girls

I hadn’t done a whole lot of promoting when we had the first event, so only a few people came. But more people came to the second event, and the word started spreading around town. More and more people offered to help and brought donations of fabric, soap, underwear, washcloths, ziploc plastic bags, and money. I bought 1000 kits worth of PUL (a 50 yd roll of waterproof fabric), DFG bag labels, and ribbon for the bag handles.

How I Did Days For Girls - DFG Materials on bed 300x225 - How I Did Days For Girls

I started telling all my friends and everyone I spoke with, about what I was doing. I received more and more support. I started assigning out packs of materials to be cut, for people to take home. I created a sign up form to pass around at church, and gauge people’s skill levels and see what they were willing to help with. This worked really well, but I quickly realized how HUGE my goal really was, and how hard it was to sew and put together so many pieces to each kit. I had lots of people working on pieces, but it finally dawned on me that we would be lucky to create several hundred kits ourselves, even with my sister’s help in her town.

How I Did Days For Girls - Sewing DFG liners 300x225 - How I Did Days For Girls

I was talking about it in the Facebook Chapter Chat group one day, and a lady on there offered to donate 100 finished kits to our trip. I was overjoyed. But I knew that wouldn’t be enough. Nevertheless, I continued to move forward in faith. I decided to apply to my company’s charitable foundation (doTERRA’s Healing Hands) for some financial help. After, assuring them that 100% of the funds would go toward kit and education materials, they agreed to match whatever funds we can raise before our trip (June 24th, 2016).

How I Did Days For Girls - healing hands in Bolivia 226x300 - How I Did Days For Girls

My community, in conjunction with other local communities, have worked so hard to create so many kits! A group from up north of us, one of the largest DFG chapters in the world (Provo/Orem, UT), helped me get 600 kits to take. And then I spoke with a woman just west of our town, and her community had just donated 500 kits to the Provo chapter, not knowing that we were going on this trip. So I am making more connections, and everyone is helping each other to accomplish amazing things!

How I Did Days For Girls - DFG St - How I Did Days For Girls

When I heard all this, I knew we would be able to reach our big goal! After all, if you don’t set a big goal, you probably won’t reach it. So as of now (2.5 weeks before our trip), we have about 800 kits and lots of materials to be cut, sewn and returned to me. I think it’s the liners we will need to focus on, because of the sheer quantity of them needed (8 in every kit). So over the next two weeks, we will be working on raising more funds, and sewing 1600 liners. Whew!

How I Did Days For Girls - DFG Room2 Lily 300x225 - How I Did Days For Girls

I’m so excited to help so many young women in Bolivia, who don’t have the resources and options we have in more developed countries. The grateful faces of the girls in DR are burned in my memory, and I feel responsible to teach and help more of them around the world. In fact, I’ve had several women in my community say that they’ve always dreamed of going on a humanitarian trip. So if we can continue making kits, I may take an additional trip to Nicaragua, where we have contacts also. It’s in Central America, and it’s cheaper to fly there. So maybe we will go there too sometime!

How I Did Days For Girls - Jenni Nicaragua class uniforms 300x200 - How I Did Days For Girls

If you are thinking of serving and empowering young women around the world by getting involved with Days For Girls, go for it! It’s not that hard to start. You can just follow the steps I took, and if you want to sew some pieces and mail them, you can do that too! We would love your help. All you have to do, is get educated about it, get the word out to your community, and people will come out of the woodwork to help you.

How I Did Days For Girls - More sewing 300x225 - How I Did Days For Girls

 

Here are more details of what I did in getting started. I bought flannel when it was on sale for 60% off at Joann’s. I bought a Brother serger on Amazon, for my kids and I to use to make the liners (under $200).

How I Did Days For Girls - Kids running serger 300x225 - How I Did Days For Girls

Here is a list of the items I bought at Joann’s (they have online sales too):

  1. Flannel, in cheerful but darker colors (on sale around $3 yd)
  2. Scissors, several pairs
  3. Rotary cutters (ergonomic roller cutters, with a round blade)
  4. Self-healing mats (the bigger the better)
  5. Acrylic rulers (for cutting with rotary cutters)
  6. Thread for sewing machine and serger
  7. Drawstring bag threaders ($3 each)
  8. 100% Cotton fabric

 

After using the rotary cutters for a while now, and seeing how fast they get dull, I’m thinking of investing in an electric one on Amazon that looks awesome (see it here).

So now I’ve done several bigger size events at my church, and a bunch of smaller events for other church groups and at my home. I actually converted our basement “school” room, which we never really used for school, into a Days For Girls workroom. I had a dozen people working in it last week, and we got lots done!

How I Did Days For Girls - DFG Workroom July 2016 300x225 - How I Did Days For Girls

Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of my daughter’s death, so she has been on my mind so much as we are traveling to Bolivia, and preparing to distribute all these kits. I will keep you posted on how our trip goes. Thanks for reading this article, and learning new ways to help these sweet girls around the world. If you would like to help, please CLICK HERE to donate much needed funds (whatever you can afford). Thanks so much!

Related posts

12 Comments

  • Sheila Summerhays

    July 11, 2016 at 5:21 pm

    Jenni! This is wonderful. Look at all the lives you have influenced for the good. Are you continuing?

    • Jenni

      July 24, 2016 at 9:16 pm

      Thank you. Yes, I will continue doing local events, and plan to go on one or two trips next year. I would really like to start some enterprises in Bolivia and Peru, so the women can make the kits for themselves!

  • Ula Sheather

    July 14, 2016 at 6:50 am

    Jenni you are amazing. I really admire your commitment and enthusiasm and setting your goal large rather than small. If everyone you contact does their bit it becomes achievable no matter what you set as your goal. DfG certainly captures women’s attention and makes them feel good about helping others.

    • Jenni

      July 24, 2016 at 8:18 pm

      Thank you Ula! Yes, the work is very empowering to other girls and women, and very satisfying for me. It’s amazing!

  • Ty Narducci

    August 6, 2016 at 2:27 am

    Today the kits are basically eight reusable pads, a pair of underwear and a simple method for washing all of it. Mergens calls it a system that is, “culturally, physically and environmentally relevant for cultures all over the world.

    • Jenni

      August 7, 2016 at 11:36 pm

      Yes, that is true. Plus it includes 2 shields, a washcloth, soap and ziploc bags (and a second pair of underwear).

  • Sheila Ward

    August 10, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    Hi Jenni, I have been trying to figure out how to get involved with DRG for the past 2 or 3 months. I have sent out several e-mails to individuals with chapters near me (Louisville KY) but have had no reply so far. I was moved by your experience, as I have also lost a daughter. 8 years ago, to ALS. She was 22. I am a sewer, recently retired, and repair vintage sewing machines as a hobby and a charity. So, DRG is a natural for me. When I was working, I was nurse in a leadership role, so I have the ability to pull together a group in my area. I guess what I need is assurance from someone that DRG is a legitimate charity. Also, I need a few more details on the mechanics of how it works. So if. You could help me get connected, I would appreciate it. Thanks for all your work.
    Sheila Ward
    Louisville KY

    • Jenni

      August 10, 2016 at 5:33 pm

      Hi Sheila! Yes, Days For Girls is definitely a legitimate charity! But going through another chapter is probably not the most efficient way to start a team. Sometimes they can be very helpful answering questions, but I wouldn’t bank on that. If you go to their main site at http://www.daysforgirls.org/get-involved then you should be able to see how you can help sew, or fill out a form to start a team. Then you need to download the patterns and watch the how-to videos on YouTube. That is how I got going. DFG is an amazing organization, but they are still not very big. There are teams starting every week, all over the world though. So, don’t lose heart! This project will change your life, and empower the girls you sew for. Please comment here again or contact me through my contact form if you have further questions. Good luck! It’s an incredible cause!!!

  • […] (adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); Read more […]

  • […] to get the kits created, assembled, and packed for the trip! (Read about how I started a Days For Girls Team in my town HERE.) I hosted a bunch of events to get everything made, and some other Days For Girls teams helped […]

  • […] the date, I asked Cherie if we could set up sale of the song, and have the proceeds go to benefit Days for Girls in Cedar City, which I started in Raquel’s honor. Cherie said yes! So I’m very excited to announce the new […]

  • […] kits (featuring my sister Emili and I). We also got in on another AWESOME service project called Days For Girls, and I will tell you about that in another […]

Leave a reply

Natural Oil Mom
X