Volunteering at Days For Girls Los Angeles

One of the first things I did when I got back in the country was try to find a low commitment hands on volunteering opportunity. Much like how I handle everything else, I wouldn’t shut up about it to everyone I talked to until someone had a great suggestion. I’ve been volunteering monthly with Days For Girls’ Los Angeles chapter for a while now. They make reusable and washable sanitary pads for women in developing countries where girls are often kept home from school whenever they have their period.  Imagine having to skip school for days a month!  That’s a serious disadvantage for half the population.  I am excited to hear that they may be aiming a little closer to home and delivering kits to Los Angeles’s own skid row.

Easy to use serger machines that just require you to hold some fabric straight.  I can handle that.

Easy to use serger machines that just require you to hold some fabric straight. I can handle that. I didn’t want to bother anyone so I avoided taking pictures of faces, but everyone is really friendly.

My complete lack of sewing skills and anything related is not a hindrance at all as everything is prepared so well that anyone can contribute. I’m constantly amazed at how much people prepare at home so that those of us without sewing skills can feel like we’re helpful.

Shields are made of colorful patterns and have pockets to hold one or two liners, depending on what kind of day it is.

Shields are made of colorful patterns, snap onto underwear, and have pockets to hold one or two liners, depending on what kind of day it is.

I kind of wonder if people on Etsy sell similar things for those living lifestyles that want to not use disposable products.  I doubt those are made with the sweatshop force of volunteer labor same love.

A complete kit involves multiple liners, shields to hold liners, a bar of soap, instructions, and a drawstring bag to hold everything.

A complete kit involves multiple liners, shields to hold liners and button onto underwear, a bar of soap, instructions, and a drawstring bag to hold everything. Everything is placed into the kit so that you understand how to use it if you for some reason don’t read instructions, like everyone does.

The fabric is a mixture of donations and things the organizers buy with money they fundraise. A lot of these kits go to young teenage girls so there’s an emphasis on bright and fun colors and patterns. I really enjoy seeing how vibrant and different all the kits are. There are designer fabrics tucked in there which is always fun to keep an eye out for.

The finished kits are packed inside the drawstring bags.  The bags are so girls have something discreet to carry their pads around in.

The finished kits are packed inside the drawstring bags. The bags are so girls have something discreet to carry their pads around in.

It’s an easy two hours on the first Thursday of every month at Grace Lutheran Church in Culver City.  There’s always people around to chat with and some tea and snacks on a side table.  I’ve missed a few for various classes and because Etsy craft night is the same schedule at CAFAM, but I always try to come when I can.  I wish this was around and I had found it when I lived in LA before.

The unofficial mascot, because breast cancer awareness shouldn't get all the fun slogans.

The unofficial mascot, because breast cancer awareness shouldn’t get all the fun slogans.

I can’t say this is making me go home and rush to sew anything else, but it does feel fulfilling to go and feel like you’re helping out immediately.  Their Facebook page is updated with where the kits are going and it is very rewarding to see girls from all over the world holding their new kits.  I struggled to find ways to volunteer meaningfully while traveling so I’m glad I am able to do so here.

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