Local Volunteers “Sew” Success for Girls in Need

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Days for Girls kits are hand-sewn and made to last up to three years.

For young women in low-income countries, access to menstrual care supplies can mean the difference between attending school and staying home during monthly periods.

Global nonprofit Days for Girls fills this need by giving young women hand-sewn, reusable menstrual hygiene kits. But when a recent delivery to the Dominican Republic was 30 kits short, Rita Ranch local Dr. Ruth Claros-Kartchner – a retired professor of bilingual education at the University of Arizona – was determined to help. “There was such a disappointment for the 30 kids who didn’t get one,” she said. “I jumped in and said, ‘Wait—let me see what I can do.’”

Dr. Claros-Kartchner contacted LaVonne Riggs, founder of a Days for Girls chapter that meets at a chapel of The Church of Jesus

LaVonne Riggs founded one of only two Tucson Days for Girls chapters after being touched by the organization’s mission to help girls stay in school during monthly periods.

Christ of Latter-day Saints just off the Houghton corridor. Though Riggs’ group typically produces individual supplies, they were up to the challenge of assembling 30 complete kits in one day.

Each Days for Girls kit includes absorbent flannel panty liners, reusable moisture barrier shields, and a cloth drawstring bag, all carefully cut and sewn by volunteers. The kits are intended to last for three years.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the local Altrusa International organization donated extra supplies and willing hands. Within a few hours on Monday, May 13, the kits were complete. Riggs attributes the successful project to the satisfaction that comes from helping others. “It’s very gratifying to think my few hours are going to make a difference in a young girl’s life,” she said. True to her word, Dr. Claros-Kartchner will deliver the kits to the girls on an upcoming trip in June.

Days for Girls welcomes new volunteers. To learn about an upcoming meeting and how you can help, contact LaVonne Riggs at tucsonAZ@daysforgirls.org.

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Altrusa International combined efforts to get extra menstrual hygiene kits to girls in the Dominican Republic.

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