Some of my readers have asked about my Sweet Sixty Project – putting together sixty feminine hygiene kits for use by the organization Days for Girls (www.daysforgirls.org), in honour of my sixtieth birthday.
Kits assembled by Days for Girls volunteers travel to poor areas of the world where families have no resources to purchase supplies for their monthly menstrual cycle, and no place to dispose of the kind of supplies available in wealthier countries. Each washable kit lasts each girl for about three years, enabling them to remain in school, rather than miss two months each year.
The sewing part began almost immediately following my birthday. I talked about the project here and readers and friends responded with generous hearts. As I type, I’m tripping over these keys in excitement. What has happened has proved to me that when one makes an appeal on behalf of the poor, people respond.
Some offered to sew, some offered to sew at home; some said they couldn’t thread a needle if their life depended on it, but wanted to help somehow. Those people have ironed, ripped stitches, cut strips, folded and inspected components. Others donated funds, and yet more people purchased or donated some of the kit’s non-sewn items. A Yorkton Beta Sigma Phi chapter enthusiastically purchased enough underwear (120 pairs!), washcloths, and Ziploc bags for all sixty kits – my eyes still leak at that.
A reader two provinces over sent an extremely generous cheque, explaining that though he’d never personally had to cope with a period, he knew what it was like from living in a house with a wife and three daughters. Dave still contacts me regularly, asking “need any more money yet?” Such heart humbles me.
We started sewing with a two-day blitz a few weeks following my sixtieth birthday, gathering in Ebenezer Baptist’s roomy hall. Daughter Amanda brought chicken-corn chowder for lunch. Some of my ladybeans came. Five-year-old Sherah found paper and in her charming childlike scrawl drew signs for some of the tables: Sewing Table, Cutting Table, Ironing Table. Two stretched some of the fabric, pulling on opposite corners back and forth in a sawing motion to even the weave for better cutting, giggling at the tug-of-war. We’ve had more sewing days since and more to come.
God planted this idea of doing a special project to honour my sixty years of a fully blessed life. I said yes so quickly, I didn’t have time to wonder if I had the time or the resources. I didn’t, I realize now. But I simply jumped into the deep end like something was chasing me, and as he always has, God caught me and supplied everything needed, especially companions on the dive. Without the contributions of others, I may never have come up for air. But now we’ll soon be done. Gratitude for my helpers and our God who supplied them overwhelms me.
My Sweet Sixty Project started as a gift to others – it has also become a beautiful gift to me.