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Bob Jones founds Days for Girls chapter

MADISON – Girls in third-world countries will have a chance to live with dignity because of the work of a new group at Bob Jones High School.

Brandy Van Dam, who teaches family and consumer sciences classes, was instrumental in founding the Bob Jones chapter of the Days for Girls organization that works to create feminine hygiene kits for girls in developing nations.

The kits are a drawstring bag that contains washable/reusable hygiene items. Chapter members assemble and sew items for the kits.

Kristy Wheeler, who also teaches FACS classes, and Van Dam will coordinate the sewing work and assembly of items for these kits during Patriot Path time slots until spring break. Volunteers on a mission trip will deliver the kits to girls in Haiti.

“We are looking for donations for the kits in the form of supplies, money or gift cards,” Van Dam said. Each kit requires several small items to help the girls:

* 100-percent cotton flannel — In cute patterns that will appeal to girls “Girls are girls, no matter where they are,” Van Dam said.

* 100-percent cotton fabric — Also in ‘cute’ patterns.

* Panties — In varying sizes.

* Washcloths and travel-size bars of soap.

* Gallon-size Ziploc slider freezer bags — “The organization asks specifically for this brand of freezer bags,” Van Dam said.

* Gift cards to Wal-Mart, JoAnn, Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.

Anyone who wants to donate to Days for Girls can bring donations to Lisa Parkes at Bob Jones’ front desk.

Days for Girls began in 2008 when founder/CEO Celeste Mergens was working with a family foundation in Kenya and assisted an orphanage outside Nairobi. After civil violence, the orphanage’s population had grown from 400 to 1,400 children.

Mergens was concerned about feminine hygiene supplies and asked the orphanage’s assistant director what the girls were doing for feminine hygiene. He immediately replied, “Nothing. They wait in their rooms.”

Mergens learned that girls around the world drop out of school due to lack of feminine supplies. Celeste founded Days for Girls when practically no organizations were involved with the global need for solutions in menstrual hygiene management.

Days for Girls has organized 900-plus volunteer chapters and teams in 14 countries. For more information, visit daysforgirls.org,

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