We are hanging on to our seats as the work flies forward. Every now and again we touch down, but then, we’re off and running–all to keep up with YOU! Thank you, everyone, for all the unbelievable work that’s going on all over the state of Utah and beyond. We’ve now got sister teams in southern and central California, Arizona, Wyoming, Louisiana and Washington, Virginia and Hawaii. Amazing. Not to mention more than 20 who have registered as teams as a result of learning about Days for Girls at our BYU Women’s Conference booth!
On a whim, we sat down to make a list of how many hands it takes to prepare what goes into one single kit. You may not believe this, but it’s true: it takes a Village! You are a part of that Days for Girls Village. It takes dozens of helpers to make one kit. Just for fun, take a look at our list and find the pieces you’ve helped with:
Purchase fabric, washcloths, underwear, Ziploc bags, drawstrings, soap
Donate fabric, or items for kits
Dye white underwear or washcloths
Sort underwear by size, bag in 20s
Cut tags of washcloths, fold
Assemble shield sandwiches
Stitch shield sides
Turn stitched shields
Trim stitched shields
Trim ends, stitch ends, turn ends
Snap shields (awl, caps, studs, sockets, quality control, fix mistakes)
Cut pocket strips
Iron pocket strips
Top stitch pocket strips
Cut pocket pieces
Cut flannel strips
Serge flannel hotspot strips
Cut flannel strips and hotspot strips into liner sizes
Match cut hotspot strips with cut liner squares
Stitch hotspots down with sewing machine
Serge edges of liners
Fold liners into thirds
Serge edges of bags
Stitch sides of bags
Stitch U-Turn on bags
Stitch casing on bags
Stitch tape in half if needed
Thread drawstrings into bags
Knot or secure ends. Melt if needed
Fold Ziplocs for assembly
Prepare stacks of 8 different folded liners
Load shields with one and with two liners
Prepare piles of items for each kit
Quality check each pile, load Ziploc with items
Quality check each filled Ziploc, load into drawstring bag
Box for distribution, add bagged, labeled underwear
Store, Transport, Distribute boxes
Coordinate Distribution Training
Respond to emails, phone calls and Facebook messages
Bring food to events
Receive stories and photos from the field
Share with others and tell the Days for Girls story
As you find your place in this movement, you will see that you are surrounded by many many others, working with you to make beautiful kits. Very few of us do the entire process by ourselves. We are a moving, living assembly line with more than 50 jobs to do. We each do what we can, and in the end, kits come out! We could not function without every piece of the puzzle being attended to. We need each of you and your willing helping hands!
There is a wonderful sisterhood that attends this work. I hope you feel it and enjoy being involved. If you’ve stepped away for a moment, we hope you’ll come back and join us. There are girls all over the world praying for help and relief. We can help. We can lighten their loads, simply and joyfully in all the ways listed above. Please find your place of service in this movement. Please help us continue to be the greatest kit producing area in the DfG World!
We have many miracles to report on. If there were time to do a daily miracle newsletter, we could fill it.
The first Huge Miracle is WE HAVE A NEW DfG SEWING CENTER IN OREM!
We’ve secured a space in Building Q on the old WordPerfect Campus at 585 East 1200 North in Orem. We have moved in, and now have a permanent place to set up a sewing center where you can come to work. This space allows us to hold events, training, and work days every week and whenever needed. It is a place you can come with your RS and YW groups, your book clubs and quilt groups, or with your neighbors and friends. We have sewing machines and sergers there, so you don’t have to bring yours from home. We also have piles of work that can be taken home and returned. It’s Fabulous! We are grateful for kind individuals who are providing this space for us.
You can visit our workroom every Wednesday and Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Starting in September, these new times may replace our Orem Third Thursday Event. You can come learn how to host an event, get support for your teams and chapters, or use one of our sergers, sewing machines, and the large cutting tables to keep the work moving forward.
Our workroom is located in the basement of the further most southwest building, building Q, of the old WordPerfect/Novell Campus at 585 E. 1200 N., Orem. Please park and enter through the lobby on the west side of the building. Go through the secured glass doors, proceed straight down the hall to the building lobby, and take the elevator or stairs to the basement level. Our offices are down the hall through the double doors to your left as you exit the elevator or stairwell. If this time doesn’t work for you, just email us and we will arrange for another time. Come join us! The phone number there is 385 237-5533.
The next wonderful miracle is that we have been able to record the Days for Girls story on video so it can be shared at your events or camps or in your families. Daniela Larsen and her film crew at Creative Media Group offered to help us prepare this video. They are a humanitarian-minded team who traveled to Nepal in July to help educate women there. They are working with Operation Underground Railroad (educates women about sex trafficking https://ourrescue.org/ ) and the Elizabeth Smart Foundation (http://elizabethsmartfoundation.org/ ). They will be partnering with us, taking DfG kits with them to help girls in Nepal stay in school so they can learn marketable skills that will keep them safe from the slave traders. Celeste Mergens was also be in Nepal in July. We are working together to make that place safer for women and girls.
Video Title YouTube Link
Days for Girls – Full Story https://youtu.be/SjjsH2Go2Cc
Days for Girls – Guatemala Story https://youtu.be/rZVaWcz39Ps
Days for Girls – Power of Education https://youtu.be/FyPGBkwv7-I
Daniela heads a non-profit called Small Candles. You can learn about the amazing work she is doing here: https://vimeo.com/127752976 We are grateful to partner with her and her team. Below are girls in Nepal who received our kits:
For your information, this is not just a problem in Nepal. Read this 9 June 2015 FOX news report to learn about what’s going on along our own Wasatch Front:
Here is another interesting piece of education– a wonderful 8 minute film called Girls Interrupted.
Filmed in Sierra Leone, Girls Interrupted, highlights the desperation of girls to go to school, despite the many obstacles that are thrown in their path. In Sierra Leone 85% of girls don’t go to secondary school because of poverty, early marriage or discrimination. Knowing that education is the only way to escape poverty, they sell anything to pay for their school fees – including their bodies.
Please watch this. It will help you understand why we are helping.
As awareness of female issues increases, country leaders are taking note and good things are happening. Here is an interesting article about FGM in Nigeria:
History Has Been Made. Female Genital Mutilation Banned In Nigeria
We know these are some very hard topics, but we must be aware. We’ve shared this poem before, but will share it again here and now. It’s one of our favorites.
God–let me be aware.
Let me not stumble blindly down the ways,
Just getting somehow safely through the days,
Not even groping for another hand,
Not even wondering why it all was planned,
Eyes to the ground unseeking for the light,
Soul never aching for a wild-winged flight,
Please, keep me eager just to do my share.
God–let me be aware.
God–let me be aware.
Stab my soul fiercely with others’ pain,
Let me walk seeing horror and stain,
Let my hands, groping, find other hands.
Give me the heart that divines, understands.
Give me the courage, wounded, to fight.
Flood me with knowledge, drench me in light.
Please–keep me eager to do my share.
God–let me be aware.
–Miriam Teichner b. 1888
Gathering our Stories
Ann Lewis sent this note out in June. Thanks to all who have responded! If you have not yet taken time to send your experiences in, please do it now. The stories pouring in have been wonderful and inspiring and we’d hate to miss yours! We hope to compile these into a booklet that can be shared. Thank you very much!
My Dear Days for Girls Friends!
Many of you know me as a Days for Girls Advocate. I am also a History Keeper and I have been keeping a history of our DfG work here for the last two years or more. We had no idea when we started DfG work here that it would be such a huge and monumental movement. With your help, our work here in Utah and beyond is producing more kits than all the rest of the world put together!
You may also know that next month I am leaving with my husband for a 3 year LDS Mission. John will preside over the new Washington Yakima Mission. Before I go, I’d like to ask one last favor of you.
I would be Thrilled if you would you please quickly respond right now to this email, answering the questions below so that I can compile into our history YOUR experience with Days for Girls. If this has been forwarded to you by your local DfG Leader, please send your experiences to email@example.com
I love and appreciate each of you. We are grateful for every item you have donated or purchased or washed or ironed or traced or cut or compiled or sewn or serged or assembled or delivered. We are grateful for you for spreading the word and helping others understand the need. More than 20,000 kits have gone out from Utah in the last 2 years and we have thousands more being made now and going out soon. It’s really been miraculous!
Thank you so Very Much for your part, large, or small in this work. It has been a pleasure and joy to meet you, to work with you, and to watch you as you have sacrificed and served and helped in so many different ways. I will continue to watch and help as I am able during the next 3 years, and I look forward to stepping back into the fun here when we return.
With Great Gratitude,
Ann Lewis, DfG Utah
Your Days for Girls Experience
·Please give your name and where you live
·Briefly describe your involvement with Days for Girls
·Please share any experience or impressions you’ve had while working with DfG
Here are some DfG Stories you will enjoy–
BYU Women’s Conference
Our Days for Girls events at the BYU Women’s Conference were a huge success. It is very unusual for BYU to welcome a private organization to be represented in the Sharing Stations at WC. This year we were invited. Thanks to Tanise Chung-Hoon and Shauna Russell who helped make this possible. We had a beautiful display where we received and taught 1000s of women, group after group, who stood in lines 5 deep and 10 across to hear about what we do and how they might become involved. In the first month after Women’s Conference at least 20 new teams were formed across the nation, who mentioned they learned about DfG at WC.
We also held a wonderful sewing event during WC for the President’s Leadership Council women at Sundance. We taught the DfG story, then everyone went to work for several hours, tracing, cutting and sewing. At the end of the evening we assembled almost 150 kits. It was a fabulous evening. These PLC women came from all over the country. We are grateful for their support and kindness and look forward to hearing about how they spread the word in their home wards.
Utah Valley University Faculty and Staff Day of Service
A Huge amount of good poured out of UVU Faculty and Staff members in May as they worked all morning on DfG Kits, parts and pieces. We had about 150 people engaged for about 4 hours. It was fantastic! Thanks to all who came and to all who will continue helping!
Los Angeles Event
May 29-30, Wendy Barton, Julie Treadwell and Ann Lewis headed to Los Angeles where we joined Carol Turley and her excellent committee for a huge DfG Event held Saturday in the Los Angeles Stake Center. It was absolutely amazing! More than 200 women from 12 different LA wards gathered, which included a Korean ward and Hispanic wards. Carol also invited men and women from other local churches, including an Ethiopian congregation and the Thai Town Rotary Club.We worked from 9:00 to 2:00, and didn’t want to stop when the time came. A delicious lunch was served in the courtyard, where women could pause for a minute to grab a bite. We have officially launched the women of Los Angeles into the wonderful world of Days for Girls! We are so grateful for all who helped. What an amazing committee of women prepped and worked for months to prepare for this event. We look forward to a long and productive association. It took 4 cars, filled to the brim, to take all the work and donations home. Many lives will be blessed by the kits that will come out of Los Angeles!
Julie Treadwell to Uganda and Kenya
In April, Julie Treadwell, our Kaysville DfG Leader traveled to Uganda and Kenya and gave this wonderful report:
For Uganda, I took some kits for a school there and some kits for the team on the ground in Kenya. I wouldn’t get to distribute in Kenya, but I knew they needed anything I could get to them.
In Uganda, Jane Sebuyungo, had set us up to meet with 40 girls, in a school of 1500 students, who are part of a specific program called “Educate.” I had packed more than 40 kits to take to the school, but at the last minute, decided to toss in several “extras” just so they could have a choice of bags. When we got to the classroom, there were over 70 girls who were waiting and more kept coming! I hadn’t counted beyond the initial 40 so I didn’t even know how many I had. I only knew I didn’t have enough for all the girls in that room! We decided to have them sign a paper and we’d cross their name off the list as they picked up a kit. Then we told them we’d get them the rest from the office (and I just wouldn’t take any to Kenya). Jane had promised two for the teachers so they would have their own kit but, more importantly, have one from which to learn how to sew and then teach the girls to sew.
Before the anatomy lesson, I was asked to say something. I told them I had come from Utah, in the United States where there were girls their age and women who prepared these kits. “They don’t know [you.] They don’t know [your] names. But they had heard what [you] needed and they wanted to help.” I told them these women and girls had donated fabric and money, but especially their time. “They had spent MANY hours sewing these kits because they know education is important and they wanted [you] to stay in school.” The classroom erupted in cheers. Then I passed around pictures of some people working on the kits. (Thought it might be sweet for THEM to see YOU!!!) After the Q&A, the girls started filing out of the room, picking up a bag and panties as they did, and I was ready to take picturess with my camera. But they didn’t want me to take picturess of them; they wanted picturess of me with them. (As a result, I had to hand over the camera and the picturess are blurry J) I felt like a celebrity. They kept hugging and thanking and wanting to stay next to me. It was soooooo endearing. Such gratitude and such EXCITEMENT over getting these kits. It makes me weepy thinking remembering it. Anyway, afterwards Jane rode with us back to the office so she could get the remaining kits to take back to the school on a boda boda! (The back of a motorcycle.) She had the list of girls names who hadn’t received a kit. We started counting out the kits. I held my breath as we got to the end of the list and we had exactly, I mean EXACTLY, the number of kits we needed. AMAZING!!!! Additionally, I had one kit that we had taken out of the mix because when we did Quality Control, it was missing two shields and we didn’t have enough underwear for it. I asked Jane, the woman who had organized the event with the school, if she would like to have that partial kit for herself. She was very eager for it. I asked Team Uganda if they had any sewn shields I could buy from them, and some women’s sized underwear. They did. They didn’t charge me, they just added them to the kit and we gave it to Jane. So, even better EXACTNESS. Loved it. She wasn’t slated to receive one but it still worked out that she did.
God is in the Details.
BYU Nursing Students to Ecuador
This excerpt is from one of the students who taught DFG in Ecuador. I have not yet had time to write up anything for you, but she describes it beautifully and better because she experienced it. It was the DFG platform that helped prepare her for this amazing teaching experience. I will send some pictures today as soon as I get into my BYU computer where they are stored. Thanks!
One global health experience we had was to visit the city of Tena, near the edge of the Amazon forest. It was a unique and beautiful experience! We got to visit schools and do health screenings and education with all of the kids and some community members as well. This global health experience was definitely the highlight of my time in Ecuador. The information that I prepared before going in country was about reproductive health and the Days for Girls project.
At the first school we visited, Haley Hill and I had to opportunity of taking aside a group of young women to talk to them about maturation and the Days for Girls kits. Though we definitely struggled with the language, cultural differences, (and trying to get the boys to leave us alone) the experience was still rich for many reasons. We shared information about health and their developing bodies. What was the most invaluable, however, was the exchange of love, encouragement, and self-worth. We wanted to empower the girls to know that they were beautiful, capable, and important. We wanted to help them see that they can shape and take hold of their health and futures. And most of all we wanted them to feel loved by us!
I had many further opportunities to teach in community settings and individually. Some of those experiences included teaching nutrition in stake health fairs and teaching reproductive health to young adults. These experiences helped me realized even more how much I love teaching! I have a passion for youth and young adults. They bring so much energy with them and are passionate about learning.
My favorite experiences were those when I could see the light go on in the people’s eyes when they gained a new piece of information. Knowledge is powerful because it allows people to feel that they have control over something and that they can positively influence their lives and their situations. I love teaching about health because it empowers others to take the care of their bodies into their own hands.
Ecuador also deepened my passion for women’s health. Empowering women through improving health is definitely an area of the profession that fascinates me. Many experiences helped me be even surer of some of the areas of nursing that I would like to focus on in my future practice. I would like to find ways that I can practice both in hospitals and in the community. I am interested in public health because it can emphasize education and prevention more so than in the hospital setting. I am excited to discover even more ways nurses can be advocates for health and empowerment everywhere!
Amanda Hales, BYU nursing student
Stacie Hunsaker, MSN, CEN, CPEN
College of Nursing
Brigham Young University
Kits from Utah to Switzerland to Nepal
Vielen Dank to Katharina Odavic and her daugher, Dominique Ruetz, who have introduced DfG to our Sisters in the St. Gallen Stake (pictured above). We have just received these photos from their huge Stake Activity with this report:
Our “Happy Helping Day” went fantastic. Dominique wrote about it on the DfG website, as far as I know. A neighbor put her head through the door and asked what we were doing. Dominique had put me right at the entrance with information and the snap machine. I explained and showed her. Then she wanted to see the whole building and was very impressed. Every room of the big building was occupied with working sisters, even the corridors. She will be sewing bags for us. All she wanted was the measurement. I had invited the friend who founded our foundation in Nepal. She brought 2 more friends, one of them a sewing teacher. Isn’t this so wonderful?
Here is Kathrarina packing kits to take to Nepal, along with the ones being made in Switzerland:
Distribution of DfG Kits in Dominican Republic
I spent this morning in an area that was devastated by a fire 4 weeks ago. 67 homes burned to the ground and they lost everything. They are a Haitian community and their homes had been small shacks. They cannot afford to rebuild. All of these families pile into the school and 2 churches at night to sleep head to toe, side by side. When morning comes they move everything back outdoors. When school starts next month they can no longer stay there. It is so humbling to see. It made me appreciate the roof over my head.
We brought about 18 suitcases of supplies with us, shoes, clothes, wash clothes, toothbrushes, baby formula, pots and pans, etc. it was greatly appreciated.
Then we talked to the ladies of the community to teach their girls how to use the feminine hygiene kits the YW had worked on. (Most of the youth were out trying to find small odd jobs to feed their families) they were so appreciative because they don’t even have enough money for food, let alone personal hygiene. The smiles on their faces were huge. So thanks for all your hard work in teaching the YW the value of service and helping us with that huge service project a few months back.
Lauri Wall delivers kits from Payson in Kenya
What is the one thing every girl has in common regardless of race or ethnicity? Menstrual cycles. Yes, periods. What is the one thing every girl deserves? Clean, safe sanitary protection. Here in the US females have the luxury of aisles and shelves with all types of feminine protection. However, in third world countries, this luxury doesn’t exist. Many girls use old rags, corn cobs, tree bark, small sand bags, cardboard and more. These items cause infection and ill health. If girls have no protection, they are not allowed to attend school for a week each month, which is twelve weeks a year. Thus, girls tend to fall behind in their education and some even drop out of school altogether ensuring illiteracy and an early marriage is enviable.
I had the amazing opportunity to become involved with Days For Girls, an organization that firmly believes every girl, everywhere, should have the resource of clean, healthy protection. PERIOD! Two-hundred Days For Girls kits (which included washable-reusable sanitary pads, shields, panties, washcloths and soap all in a cute fabric bag) were recently delivered to the girls of the Nkoilale Boarding school. Cheers of joy, applause, smiles and gratitude showed on the faces of the girls as they proudly carried their kits on their shoulders like a smart purse. Thank you so much Deanna Hansen and Payson West Stake for your involvement with Days For Girls as well as entrusting me to deliver your love and hard work.
After donations of fabric, purchasing fabric, cutting, cutting and more cutting as well as hours of kit assembly. 175 reusable sanitary pad sewing kits were presented to a group of women in Nkoilale, on the Maasai Mara. These women will hopefully turn this into a business that will allow them to be businesses women, as well as mentors for others. Thanks to all who donated fabric and SOS for help in putting kits together. One by one we can all make a difference to that one.
Thank you to our Payson, Utah DfG helpers who made this possible!
Andrea Beard continues to connect us
This photo is from my niece Shannon that took 500 kits to Uganda. She just taught her first class and sent this photo.
Hope things are well with your mission plans.
Thanks Andrea Beard
Meg Watts, BYU Intern distributes kits in Guatemala
Thank you for all your work in directing such an amazing organization in Utah. I got to bring 20 kits and I honestly could not be happier with where they ended up. I went to a school on a very poor area outside of La Antigua called the Smart Start Backyard School (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Esculita-Smart-Start-Back-Yard-School/787637757969948). It has a really neat story. It was started right out of the home of an amazing Guatemalan woman named Iris who I attached a photo of to this email. Most of the kids are orphans or living in great poverty. Right now the parents of the students are working on building the school room in the backyard of Iris’s house. I had two friends teaching English there every day and so I went with them on my last day to distribute the kits. It worked out perfect because Iris was there and we talked to her about all the components and all the necessary teaching for taking care of the kits. That way she was able to talk to each of the girls herself about the kits, who know and trust her well. They LOVED them. Thank you thank you again for all your work.
Becky Cushing receives kit supplies in the Philippines Thanks to Kim Wu who helped with a grant to purchase DfG supplies to send to our friend Becky in the Philippines. They have arrived safe and sound!
Elizabeth McCombs (BYU Nursing Alum) in Irvine CA
“Delivering these kits… Like delivering my babies!!! Intense labor, hours of hard work, end result… Such joy! Safe journey to your new owners.” Thank you friends in Irvine!
Marilyn Everett and her Friends in Fresno, CA
We love our DfG Sister Cities and thank you for your excellent work! Marilyn recently delivered 204 beautifully-made kits. Thank you! Marilyn came to Utah to learn the process. Penny Stephensen showed her how to use our electric rotary cutter.
Kiem Anderson from Los Angeles
Kiem is a star kit maker. She delivered more finished kits at our Los Angeles Event. Thank you, Kiem!
Lori Wilson sends Love from Louisiana
When Lori Wilson moved to Louisiana, she took goodness with her. And ideas and projects for her RS/YW there. These Louisiana ladies and girls worked for 2 whole days on Days for Girls Kits. Thank you, Lori, for sharing the goodness!
Hi Ann! Here are photos from two days of DFG in Louisiana. Everything went smoothly! We are all tired but happy, of course. A handful of ladies love this project and want to continue meeting and so, we will. They love the video. We watched it both days. I will see you soon. We are driving to Utah on the 19-20.
Beth Emmett from West Jordan delivers a carload!
Kits sent to Nepal, Zambia, and Nicaragua
Here are kits ready today to go out into the world: 210 for Nepal, 210 for Zambia and 100 more (adding to the 100 already given) for Nicaragua! Thanks to all who make room to take and deliver kits to girls praying for help. These went with Daniela Larsen, Michelle Larsen and Nicole Johansen. 30 Kits also went with Elaine Carlson to Nicaragua. Thank you so very much, ladies!
Bernice in Ghana Continues to Change her Country!Beautiful Bernice continues the changing the lives of young women all over Ghana. She and her husband, Prince are AMAZING. They direct Days for Girls Ghana and make and distribute kits from village to village. They have distributed more than 3000 kits! What a fabulous team! Pictured below is Celeste Mergens, founder of DFGI meeting with Bernice and Prince in Ghana in July. Celeste wishes there were 100 more teams like this in our DFGI world!Bernice said the funniest thing at the kit distribution below was this man. His wife wasn’t able to come, but wanted a DfG kit so badly, she sent him in her place, dressed up like a woman, so he could receive a kit for her!
Meet Zach AndersenZach recently completed his Eagle Scout Project by gathering supplies for and making DfG kits. He rallied all of his friends and they worked for hours! Thank you excellent boys!
This is so fun! Zack had a great night last night. He had 26 kids come to help. We finished all the fabric he was given and will get it back to you tomorrow. Attached are a bunch of photos from the evening! Afterward, Zack told us how glad he was that he picked this for his project. It was tremendous to see 20+ young men there to support the special girls that will receive these wonderful kits.
Thank you, Krista
Meet Mary Elizabeth and Noel Thomas from OremNoel and her daughter have gathered hundreds of dollars of donations in exchange for Mali bead bracelets. These dollars help us buy fabric to keep women working! Thank you!
Meet Linda and Chet Roskelley
Meet our friends, Chet and Linda from Grandview, Provo. Chet engineered this very fun cutting machine to help him cut perfect lengths of drawstring tape. Chet lost his eyesight to macular degeneration, but that doesn’t slow him down a bit! He has cut 100s and 100s of drawstrings that went to girls camps this summer.
Meet the Amazing Jane Haws from LehiJane has sewn her fingers to the bone. She and her friends have made 100s of kits. She is an amazing humanitarian!
Meet kits from Sondra Hudgens from Provo Sondra has been unstoppable. She and her family and 100s of girls at camps make so many kits we can hardly keep track. They just keep coming, by the 100s! Thank you!
Meet Rebecca White from Virginia
Rebecca and her husband recently delivered a load of kits from their sisters in Virginia. Thank you, for adding to the joy in the world!
Looking for a Family Reunion Activity?The Harper Family is not new to Days for Girls. They’ve been holding family and sister retreats since we started doing DfG in Utah. From Jenn Harper of Provo:
We had a wonderful time assembling DFG kits for our Harper reunion at Bear Lake. 56 kits to take to the Provo work room next week! It was very touching. I told a couple of stories and the spirit was strong, it always is, in helping our sisters.
Thanks again for introducing DFG to me and my family. I think several will go home and do projects in other states. So happy you are doing DFG on your mission. What a blessing! Love seeing and hearing about your adventures. Thanks for leading the way in all you do! Love it!
Utah Valley Regional Single Adult Conference in Orem, UtahSingle Adults from 120 stakes in the Utah Valley Region met in a 3 day conference in June. On a Friday afternoon, these good folks helped to assemble 670 kits! They had a great time learning about DfG and we enjoyed working with them.
Penny Stephenson from Provo, Queen Cutter
If you are working with strips that have been pre-cut, chances are Penny (pictured here with Melissa Clark) helped. She cuts 100s of yards of flannel every week for events all over the valley. We are so very grateful for this help.
Meet Sylvia Heaps, Serger Master!
Sylvia picks up and drops off by the armload. If you have a serger and a bit of time, even a little bit of time, we could really use your help! Every 8 pads help one more girl.
Kits headed to Ethiopia, Kenya and India
Thanks to Diana Bingham taking 150 kits to Ethiopia with Engage Now Ethiopia; Shalese Cordon taking 200 kits to Kenya with Youth Link; and Chambrey taking 100 kits to India with Resilient Hearts!
Brother Franklin teaches in Honduras
Franklin distributing kits in de la Mora, Honduras. We send our love in every single kit. Thanks to Dave Riley for making this distribution possible.
JoAnne Okelberry from Reseda, CA sends 140 + kits!Beautiful kits received from JoAnne Okelberry in Reseda, CA. We love you, and all the women who helped make these kits!!
Sam and Lori Atoa distributing kits in Samoa
I have enjoyed the monthly DFG service in our stake center. As I have worked with Sam and my children doing humanitarian work in Samoa, DFG seemed like a logical fit. After asking health care professionals in Samoa and family and friends, it was clear that DFG would be a blessing in the lives of girls and women there.
Thank you for your assistance and help in making this happen. As you know, the Utah chapter provided materials to make hundreds of kits, as well as hundreds more finished and partially finished kits. The UVU women’s service group also pitched in and donated 500 finished kits.
Sam, the kids and I loaded a 40 foot container the 1st week of April.
While in Samoa, Sam and I met with Sister Lata, she is serving as a humanitarian missionary with her husband. She had arranged for stake and ward RS presidency members to attend. We had about 15 ladies. I presented the kits, showed them what they contain and how they are used and maintained. The ladies were thrilled! They sat and chatted and planned events including the relief societies as well as the young women. They will use the fabric and materials we provided, but will also try to support the project with local donations. As we talked, I felt the spirit very strongly and could feel Heavenly Fathers love for His daughters. I felt so blessed to be able to share DFG with those sweet sisters.
A few days later, Sam, sister Lata and I, met with a the victim support group. The leader is a wonderful woman named Lina. She has welcomed us many times over the years and has become a dear friend. The girls who live in this house, have all been physically and or sexually abused. We distributed the kits to the girls (we had dolls for the younger ones) and told them that Heavenly Father knows them and loves them. That they have infinite worth and are virtuous in His eyes. We talked about education and the importance of loving and helping each other. It was such a wonderful experience. The girls were so receptive and sweet. They hugged and cried and thanked us for thinking of them. I know that it will be a blessing to this group. Their funding is so limited.
Thanks you for helping us help the girls in Samoa. We hope to continue to support and serve there.
Julie Murray, a new DfG Leader in Draper
Julie Murray and Danene Torgerson have kicked off Days for Girls work in Draper on a regular basis. Four wards in this stake hosted events and in May the rest joined in. Starting in June, they are holding regular Third Thursday Events at the Steeple Chase building, 9:00-12:00 and 6:30-9:00 p.m. All are welcome to come join the fun!
Karen Bybee and her South Jordan Team assemble 300+ kits!
Bravo, Women! We are thrilled about your 300+ kit contribution to the good in the world. Way to go. Thank you. Thank you. We love you.
Girls with big hearts
At the end of an event in Pleasant Grove, these 3 girls made us promise not to go home until they returned. They raced to Walmart, bought as many packages of undies as they could afford, and then returned to donate them to girls their age somewhere else. What kindness! Thank you.
Vernal Ladies Continue to Produce!
We love our friends in Vernal, who keep making parts and pieces by the 100s. Take a look at this delivery of love and goodness. Thank you ladies, for your continuing help!
This summer we’ve helped more than 40, ward and stake girls camps! That’s 1000s of girls. These camps were spread across the state in places like Heber Valley, Kaholowo, MIA Shalom, Bear Lake, Payson Canyon, other campsites and cabins, even one in Yellowstone. If you have photos from your camps that you’d like to share, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parts and pieces have been coming in by the boat load! We appreciate all the YCLs and Camp Directors who spent so many hours this summer making this happen. We hope you will continue to involve your girls and women in the future. We could use your help.
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As you can see, we have stories to tell. These are only a fraction of them. I wish we could share everyone’s photos and experiences. Many are posted on Facebook as they unfold. Take a look there when you have a minute. If you’ve traveled with kits and would like to share your experiences, please email them to us at email@example.com or send them to Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org so they can be shared with others who are helping.
We have a Days for Girls Utah Web Page!
Announcing our latest and greatest way to communicate with you! We have our own web page now where you can check the calendar, find contacts, video clips, articles, and learn how to stay involved. Please go take a look:
T&T (Turn & Top stitch) Liners are BACK!!
We’re thrilled. See the message below from Celeste. We will be back in full production immediately! Thanks for all who have been on pause the last few months. Let’s all go back to work!
From Celeste Mergens:
Greetings from Nigeria! We just met with, and received endorsement of Days for Girls from the Minister of Health here. As in Nepal, Turkey, Mozambique and Ghana, we fell in love with the leaders and people here. DfG leaders are phenomenal…
You being one of them.
There is knowledge from the field that we have experienced personally while here and it is… Treadle overlocks (sergers) may or may not create a quality edge. After much discussion and 6 months of additional data… the verdict is that T&Ts still have a place in our work. Serged or overlocked tri-folds need to be the first go-to style. They are our best solution, saving fabric, time and resources. Please mostly encourage making tri-folds. But now T&Ts will return to being a secondary option!
Celeste Mergens, Founder DFGI
More than 11,000 kits have been sent out from Utah so far this year! AMAZING! If you have sent kits we don’t know about from your own groups, please report those kits to Debbie Young at 801 376-2368 or Utah@DaysforGirls.org Thank you!This summer, kits distributed from Utah have gone to these countries:
Ghana, Rwanda, Guatemala, Liberia, Malawi, Honduras, Kenya, India, Congo, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Hawaii, Nicaragua, Mali, Swaziland, Lesotho, Nepal, Zambia, Ecuador, Cape Verde, Haiti, the Philippines, Israel, Uganda, Thailand, and the Dominican Republic.
Who to contact if you need DfG help:
Debbie Young email@example.com 801 376-2368
Debbie lives in Lindon and handles all kit distribution and training for distribution. Any completed kits to be distributed can be to dropped off at her home at 94 N. 1200 E. Lindon, or at Building Q. If an individual chapter distributes kits, please coordinate with Debbie to insure everyone taking kits gets trained.
Debbie will answer questions about forming a new Utah team or chapter.
Debbie has tubs of projects that can be checked out for events. You can also contact her to schedule an event.
Melissa Clark firstname.lastname@example.org 801 372-8660
Melissa lives in Springville and works with all of our Utah Valley groups, especially those in the south end of our valley. Melissa is our Girls Camp Specialist and she helps schedule events. Her home is a drop-off, pick-up point for kits and projects taken home.
Wendy Barton email@example.com 801 500-0307.
Wendy lives in east Orem. She schedules and oversees work at our new Building Q location and helps with purchasing. Wendy is an Event Specialist and she works with home sewers. Her home is also a drop-off, pick-up point for projects taken home.
Ann Lewis firstname.lastname@example.org now lives in Yakima, Washington.
Ann is cheering on a whole new group of DfG helpers and friends there. Please send stories and photos to her to be shared in the newsletter and on FB.
Our Utah and Beyond Leaders
Utah Regional Leaders:
Debbie Young, Lindon email@example.com 801 376-2368
Melissa Clark, Springville firstname.lastname@example.org 801 372-8660
Wendy Barton, Orem email@example.com 801 500-0307
Carol Sainsbury, Logan firstname.lastname@example.org 435 760-2498
Gloria Rudd, Tremonton
Alissa and Julie Denning, Centerville
Rosemarie Deppe & Janette Pack, Centerville North email@example.com 801-450-4113
Julie Treadwell, Fruit Heights/Kaysville firstname.lastname@example.org 801 682-6252
Heather Maxwell, Bountiful email@example.com 801 891-2829
Peggy Showalter, Bountiful firstname.lastname@example.org
Betsy Oborn, Bountiful email@example.com
Susan Westergard, Farr West firstname.lastname@example.org
KayDee Clark, Lewiston, WYO email@example.com 435 713-6962
Barbara Ostler and Christina Gates, Monument Park firstname.lastname@example.org
Kylie Peterson, Ogden email@example.com
Kim Wu, West Jordan firstname.lastname@example.org 801 568-1636
Vicki Platt, West Jordan 801 566-6949
Marjorie Conder, Murray email@example.com 801 225-7621
Sheri Caldwell, Cottonwood Heights firstname.lastname@example.org 801 943-3720
Lisa Barton, South Jordan email@example.com 801 755-0828
Karen Bybee, South Jordan firstname.lastname@example.org
Danene Torgersen, Draper email@example.com 801-673-0225
Mary Jane Ridges, Highland firstname.lastname@example.org 801 367-5710
Jill Lloyd, Highland email@example.com 801 360-6803
Michelle Ashby American Fork Humanitarian Ctr. firstname.lastname@example.org 801 766-6646
Melissa Phillippi, Pleasant Grove email@example.com 801 602-4796
Lorri Cummings, Pleasant Grove firstname.lastname@example.org 801 472-8581
Diana Allred, Orem email@example.com 801 592-8399
Linda Olson, Orem firstname.lastname@example.org 801 221-8287
Andrea Beard, Orem email@example.com 801 367-3069
Kif Augustine Orem firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeannie Burnham, North Orem email@example.com 801 225-7321
Marsha Livingstone, Provo firstname.lastname@example.org 801 375-3753
Sondra and Sharon Hudgens, Provo email@example.com 801 885-0842
Tonya Judd, Springville firstname.lastname@example.org
Sandy Liggett, Mapleton
Betty Quinn, Payson email@example.com 801 836-9083
Lois Knuteson, Payson firstname.lastname@example.org 801 465-3703
Deanna Hansen, Payson email@example.com 801 362-6518
Christine Chappell, Heber firstname.lastname@example.org 435 671-3452
Julie Muhlstein, Saratoga Springs email@example.com 801 789-5973
Heather Kuntz, Saratoga Springs firstname.lastname@example.org 801 361-6414
Nicole Larsen, Saratoga Springs email@example.com
Tess and Kayana Morgan, Santaquin
Angi Holt, St. George firstname.lastname@example.org 435 229-5831
Barbara Prestwich, St. George Area email@example.com 435 463-2258
Barbara Tenney, St. George firstname.lastname@example.org 435 705-8650
Sarah Lowe, Washington email@example.com 435-627-9330
Margene Holt, Enterprise firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan Holt Larsen, Enterprise email@example.com 435 632-0720
Nena Caldwell, Vernal firstname.lastname@example.org 435 789-5680
Elaine Brantley, Vernal email@example.com 801 669-3935
Marie Bergeson, Tempe, AZ firstname.lastname@example.org 602 402-1761
Marilyn Everett, Fresno, CA email@example.com 559 974-0622
Carol Turley, Los Angeles, CA firstname.lastname@example.org 310 916-6075
Kiem Anderson, Los Angeles, CA email@example.com
Jenny Rees, Palos Verde, CA firstname.lastname@example.org 323 377-6789
Ann Lewis, Yakima Washington email@example.com 801 376-3417
Rebecca White, northern Virginia firstname.lastname@example.org
Katharina Odavic, Switzerland email@example.com
Our calendar is now posted on our Days for Girls Utah website: http://www.daysforgirls.org/#!utah/c10x8
Tips and Tools
Here’s an idea for a simple easy-to-make bag threader. Use a coat hanger. If you’re interested in perfectly-cut shield patterns, call Lisa Barton 801 755-0828. She has a DfG die cut machine. Here’s her report: Can I tell you I’m so excited. It works perfectly. I have been running around my house looking for every conceivable weight of paper and board to try. It handles everything.
Here is a list of the materials I have tried. I’m going to put out a call for some of these items and maybe haunt a few businesses that might be recycling these materials. I would love to start cutting templates for you ladies.
Board from back of card stock package.
Mat board (my favorite)
File folder dividers.
Please let Lisa know if you’d like to drop by to cut some patterns!
Twill Tape and Ribbon Sources
The Ribbon Factory
If you order more than $99 worth of product shipping is free with the code: shipship. There are also volume discounts. If you order 500-1999 yards it is 10% off, 2000-4999 is 20% off, 5000-19,999 is 30% off (at this discount the free shipping code doesn’t work anymore) and above 20,000 yards it is 35% off.
Twill tape per dfg bag is $0.12 per bag without shipping added. With shipping it’s probably $0.13.
Here is another source for grograin ribbon for drawstrings from DFGI headquarters : Grosgrain ribbon at Gift International: giftintl.com
50 yds @ $1.45 spool. Bargain beyond wonderful. One 50 yd. spool has sufficient length for 23 bags. (Each bag requires two 38″ lengths, or 2.11 yd.) There are dozens of colors to choose from.
PUL (Poly Urethane Laminate)
If you need PUL, we keep a good supply at Building Q. Call Wendy to make arrangements to get some. If you have donations, our cost is $4.00/yard. We are grateful to All Together Enterprises in Salt Lake for their kindness in helping us get all the PUL we need. Please go through us to get what you need, so we are not bothering them with orders. We order through them months ahead, and should have enough on hand to help you. Thank you. If you’d like to purchase an entire roll, let us know so we can order one for you. (100 yards is $400) and we need 6 weeks advance notice.
Marshall Dry Goods
Please take a look at this resource for ordering wholesale fabrics. You must ask for Randy Tipton and tell him you are with Days for Girls. His cell number is 501-230-1992. We recommend the flat fold bundles called Flower Power, Happy, Lucky Medallion and Little Flower. These bundles have 6 yards each of each of 17 colors and are perfect for shields and bags. Our price is $1.95/yard plus shipping.
Marshall’s also sells solid colored flannel. We recommend the following colors: Maroon, Red, Dark Pink, Black, Brown, and Purple. These come in 20 yard bolts and the price is $1.80/yard plus shipping.
When washing fabric, it is sufficient to wash on a quick cycle (no soap unless there’s a lot of sizing in the fabric you’ve purchased), then dry and hang out over a shower rod or banister so you don’t have to iron it. Or you can spread the pieces on a large bed. If you shake out the pieces between washing and ironing, you can wash them in 5-10 yard pieces without too much trouble.
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Well, that wraps up another news letter. We’ve had some difficulties with our contact lists and have lost some of you. We are trying to rebuild what went down in the contact crash. Please feel free to forward this or share with others. If you’d like to be added to our mailing list, please let us know. We’d love to keep in touch.
Thank You, Thank You, Each of You, for the part you play in this important work. As you can see, it does take a village to make and distribute these kits. We need your help. We need your donations. We need your loving hearts and helping hands.
If you’d like to make a contribution, we’d be very grateful. We could use the help to buy more fabric to keep moving forward! You can mail donations to:
Days for Girls Utah
P. O. Box 970812
Orem UT 84097
Or you can drop fabric, undies, washcloths, soap, Ziplocs, or kits by Building Q on Wednesdays and Thursdays between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. or by appointment.
585 East 1200 North, Orem
We love you!
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