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Would anyone want to attend this event and help host?
Hosting isn't hard.
It involves being a point of contact in case others sign up and want to meet & volunteer together.
If your plans/availability change, and you can't attend anymore, that's fine, just let us know and maybe someone else can step up to host, but if not, it's okay and we can cancel this meetup.
I try to spread the word about volunteer opportunities and raise awareness about non-profits/charities that do good work.
This event is from Days for Girls.
"Days for Girls is dedicated to creating a more free, dignified, and educated world, through providing lasting access to feminine hygiene solutions and health education."
The Irvine chapter usually meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday nights of each month, but sometimes they reschedule to the 1st or 3rd Wednesday because of holidays or other reasons.
To help me save time, this is automatically posted, and I'll try to check each month, but in case I forget, please contact them to confirm the date:
Alicia (project leader) usually responds, but if she's busy, look on their church calendar if "Days for Girls" is scheduled on Wednesday.
They meet separately from the main church building.
A friendly lady (Lynn) from the church said when entering the parking lot, look to the right for other vehicles parked by a trash dumpster, and near that should be a door, which should lead to the classroom.
Once you find the room, ask for the project leader, Alicia, and she can get you started.
The church parking lot is accessible from Yale Ave & Booth Circle.
Sewing is a major aspect of this project.
The experienced volunteers are nice and friendly. They want new people to help.
When I went, two other volunteers were also new, first-timers; and they introduced all three of us to sewing. All the ladies are helpful in giving directions, instructions, and advice.
If you can drive a car, then you can use a sewing machine. It has a foot pedal and similar to steering, you guide the fabric through (usually straight), and the sewing machine does all the work. The sewing machines have a safety guard thing, so nobody should lose a finger/thumb. It's fairly safe and easy to learn.
However, help with other tasks is also needed, that doesn't involve sewing.
Something called "snapping" involves making holes and inserting a fastener type thing so the pad/liner snaps together.
Other tasks might include cutting fabric.
...or working on the fabric, bags, or hygiene items, etc.
Using a sewing machine is totally optional and not required.
I could be wrong. My guess is every week might differ slightly with their non-sewing tasks...so if anyone goes in the future, they might work on different stages of the kits. The entire project has various parts, so what is shown in my photos might be different from the tasks on a future night. But for the most part, all the non-sewing tasks should be fairly easy to learn/do.
When I went, nobody asked me about church or God. Being Christian/religious is not required nor expected. The other volunteers are cordial, sweet, and encouraging. We talked about various topics.
I was nervous about using a sewing machine, especially because I didn't want to mess up or damage any of the items; but they were very understanding and supportive. And surprisingly, it honestly isn't hard to learn at all. The other ladies are very good teachers and they have extra sewing machines for people to use.
Another pleasant surprise is they are okay if men volunteer. Nobody seemed bothered, surprised, or suspicious; and conversely, they were very positive, happy, and delightful with me. Some women later told me they wanted me to come back and that it's because they want all the help they can get. So gender isn't an issue, and they seem to genuinely appreciate anyone who can help.
So if anyone lives/works in or near Irvine, or drives by after work, consider trying this at least once. Thank you.
Q: Sewing seems impractical and time-consuming. Why not just donate tampons or pads?
A: "DfG Kits were designed to work across a variety of environmental and cultural settings. How did we do this? By listening to feedback from thousands of women and girls, and creating 28 different iterations."
These kits/items are intended to be cleaned and re-used for years, and therefore end up being cost-efficient and cost-saving in the long term.
Q: Do volunteers need to know how to sew (or own a sewing machine)?
A: Sewing is an important and essential aspect to this project, but some non-sewing help is also needed. "You do not need to know how to use a sewing machine in order to help." They might need help with tasks such as "cutting, ironing, tracing, snapping, etc."
Q: Do volunteers need to be Christian or religious?
A: Everyone is welcome to help. Being Christian/religious is not required nor expected. Lynn, (the friendly lady from the church) says many participants are from the church group, but they also have non-members too, and they allow anyone to help. Plus, from what I read, Days for Girls does not appear to have any religious affiliation or association.
If anyone has family or friends who enjoy sewing, and you want to tell them about this...other chapters exist throughout the country and world.
Some chapters don't meet regularly. Some volunteers just sew the kits/items on their own.
On the top right corner of the map, click the magnifying glass to search for a chapter by city or zip code.
I don't know if all/any of other chapters in SoCal are active, but please feel free to contact any of them:
• Anaheim - [masked] or https://www.facebook.com/Days-for-Girls-Anaheim-CA-Team-735718603247795
• Brea - [masked]
• Corona - [masked] or https://www.facebook.com/pg/Daysforgirlscorona
• Irvine 1 - [masked]
• Irvine 2 - [masked] or https://www.facebook.com/Days-for-Girls-West-Irvine-CA-Team-553436648185576
• Los Angeles 1 - [masked] or https://www.facebook.com/DaysforGirls.LosAngeles
• Los Angeles 2 - [masked] or https://www.facebook.com/Days-for-Girls-West-Los-Angeles-CA-562122590637959
• Ontario - [masked]
• Reseda - [masked]
• Riverside - [masked]
• Venice - [masked]