By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
Over 150 women gathered in the Fairgrounds Fine Arts Building on Saturday for a Women’s Conference with a purpose. Although sponsored by the LDS Logandale Stake, the Conference invited all local women, regardless of religious affiliation, to join in a valley-wide service project in conjunction with the Days For Girls organization.
Days For Girls is an international group that makes reusable feminine hygiene kits for girls around the world who do not have access to monthly supplies otherwise. Feminine hygiene issues in man cultures can keep girls and women out of school and can severely impact education and employability, as well as health and wellness.
Although several Days For Girls sewing bees have been held locally over the last several months, this one was special because it had a specific purpose and a local tie. Logandale residents Dan and Lorraine Bailey have a son, Heath, who works for the US State Department as an economic adviser. He is currently stationed in Kenya.
When Heath’s wife, Melinda, heard about Days For Girls she recognized the great impact such a project could have in the area where they are stationed. She told Lorraine that their local girls were in desperate need of kits such as these and Bailey put her in touch with local Days for Girls organizer, Lorri Rust.
Melinda told Rust that they could use 350 kits to start; and that would just be the tip of the iceberg.
In order to meet that goal, women started preparing for the conference several weeks in advance.
“The kits are very time-consuming to make because there are so many different parts and they have to be made exactly to specifications,” Rust said. “Each girl gets only one kit every three years and we want to make sure they get one that is well made and will last.”
Rust’s goal for the conference was to end the day with at least 150 completed kits and hundreds of other kits partially completed, a goal which the assembled group was able to achieve.
Logandale Stake Relief Society President Kay Eddie was pleased with the turnout and how the event unfolded. “It is so uplifting to see so many women working together to help other women,” Eddie said. “It is very inspirational to us all and very worthwhile.”
It was Lory Fabbi’s first time attending a Days For Girls event and she said that she was touched by what she saw. “It’s a fantastic project that is life-changing for girls around the world while being such a simple thing for us to do,” Fabbi said.
Fellow attendee Dottie Adams agreed. “This is something I have never even thought about before now,” she said. “I can’t even imagine the conditions those poor girls are living in. We take so much for granted.”
Rust said that she was grateful for the number of women that turned out to help. “I am so amazed to see everyone here today,” she said. “And this is not all. There has been so much pre-sewing and work behind the scenes by so many women to get where we are today. And all of the supplies for this event were donated or funded by donations from generous people. Today we definitely made a difference.”
Rust said that there is still plenty of work to be done in these efforts. There is still a tremendous need for these kits, and plenty of willingness among local women to continue the work, she said. But with the enormous effort of the conference completed, it leaves Rust with a depleted store of supplies to continue building more kits.
In addition, there are shipping costs. Normally the cost shipping completed kits is covered by the international Days For Girls organization. But because these kits are going directly to a specific community, shipping costs are not covered.
Anyone wishing to donate supplies, or funds to this effort can contact Lorri Rust at 702-379-3247. One hundred percent of any donations will go directly to the cause, Rust said.