A Passion to Help Young Women
It started four years ago with a trip to a workshop in Farmington where they experienced the hum of excitement and passion to help young women in impoverished villages worldwide. The local chapter of “Days for Girls” is one of the largest chapters in the United States and creates patented washable feminine hygiene kits.
Buff Cummings, Sara Shirley and Ila Hill, members of First Nurses at Birmingham First, immediately felt called to be a part of this ministry.
They began organizing friends at church to help with the sewing, Sara began donating the needed waterproof fabric, and Ila began sewing up a storm. Since then, at least two dozen Birmingham and Berkley First women have stepped forward to help sew and donate money and materials to the project. While the Farmington chapter meets three times weekly year-round in a large workshop (20-40 men and women attend regularly), the Birmingham First group work individually in their homes.
In the past 4 years this group delivered to Farmington a huge supply of the items needed for the kits including 2100 shields, 2300 liners and 475 tote bags.
Buff Cummings says, “Our volunteers, unanimously and routinely, tell me how good it makes them feel to participate in this ministry.”
The kits have been hand-delivered with careful professional instruction to villages in over 25 countries in Africa, Central and South America and Southeast Asia, as well as to refugee camps in the Middle East, by more than 40 established Mission groups including Birmingham First mission trip participants, Shawn David, Susan Hegel and Nancy Smith. The instruction increases the knowledge of topics such as puberty and menstrual cycles, fertility and anatomy (male and female), how to use the kits (wash out the liners with no running water or trash facilities), contraception and abstinence, self defense and self-respect, and the dangers of human trafficking.
Buff Cummings reports that their most recent delivery to the Farmington chapter included, 250 completed tote bags, 340 flannel liners, 5 shields as well as 9 homemade Covid-19 face masks. This delivery brought their year’s totals to 1,013 liners delivered and 544 tote bags which exceeded their goals of 1000 and 500 respectively.
They are now shifting their efforts to making masks in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The group is always looking for more volunteers to donate toward or sew products. If you would like to participate in this vital ministry, please contact Buff Cummings. You may also donate funds online by designated your gift as “DFG First Nurses.”
“The volunteers all tell me how much they love participating in this effort. It makes them feel they are making a difference in girls’ lives and they are!!! Of course, now the need is so much more relevant to their own lives as the masks we are making are being used locally for friends, family and health care providers. When the world returns to a new version of normal, we look forward to more reports of successful donations to girls in need the world over.” – Buff Cummings