Days for Girls project to reach Haiti
Boxes and boxes full of colorful cloth kits – 100, to be exact – were ready at Quincy Valley Medical Center on Nov. 10 for Sherri Cole to collect them. She was ready to take them along on her flight to Haiti the following week.
Sherri and Russell Cole have been spending more time in Haiti than at home in the past 10 years. Out of those 10 years, they have only spent two months annually at home. While in Haiti, Russell helps build trusses for churches, and the Coles also work at orphanages and in the communities in Port-au-Prince and Dessalines.
“It’s time to stay at home in Quincy and be Grandma and Grandpa,” Sherri Cole said as she came to collect the kits for girls. “We will continue in Haiti until we can find someone to take over.”
A group of 65 Quincy women has been working for a full year, one Saturday a month – and some even more at home – to produce personal hygiene kits for girls and women. The package contains panties, pads, etc., to help girls through the “uncomfortable” days of the month so they can go to school and work.
Mandy Ottley, one of the sewing ladies, said that the brightly patterned cotton materials are both donated and bought by the group. The Rotary Club donated a snap setter gadget to insert a plastic snap onto one of the products.
“A metal snap would rust with washing,” explained Ottley.
The other ladies present on Nov. 10 to distribute the carefully crafted kits were Mary Anne Webley, Pam Roylance, Lena Stacy and Marilyn Cobig.
The Days for Girls International organization is the creation of Celeste Mergens, an American who in 2008 started producing these personal hygiene kits for girls. The inspiration came from her visit to an orphanage in Nairobi, where she noticed how girls had to miss school and most any activity during their periods due to the lack of hygiene products.
In 10 years, the organization has reached millions of females in over 100 countries. For more information, go to www.daysforgirls.org.
By Jaana Hatton, For the Post-Register