Haitian Hurricane Relief

2016-10-26-10-20-50Our organization was fortunate to combine with on the ground services of SOIL (sustainable organic integrated livelihoods) to distribute 76 menstrual pad kits to women and girls in hurricane affected areas. Thru the use of ecological solutions, SOIL is working to transform human waste into fertilizer.  Dr Leslee Jaeger, founder of Helping Haiti Work, was in Port au Prince as a member of Haiti sans Cervical Cancer,  meeting with government officials in efforts to develop a cervical cancer screening and treatment program. The 76 kits were delivered to SOIL headquarters and the use of the kits explained to staff. In exchange, the staff gave us a tour of their facility and the use of the composting toilets. img_0280

SOIL is headquarted in Cap Haitian, near our Haitian sewing locations. We are hopeful that this is the beginning  of an ongoing relationship.

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Days for Girls Workday

We had a successful workday on Saturday, Oct 22nd, with 25+ participants cutting, sewing and packing 96 menstrual pad kits. 76 of these kits will be delivered later this week to a Haitian organization (SOIL) that is working in the hurricane affected areas of Haiti and 20 of the kits are destined for a birthing center in Port au Prince.

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Haitian ingenuity

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Ellen Schreder and Abbie Fliegel recently traveled to Haiti and spent a week with seamstresses from both Ranquitte and Limbe teaching topics that ranged from sewing machine repair to menstrual health hygiene. There was so much good that came out of this week that we will be posting regular updates and stories.

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Ranquitte is in a more rural location than our first sewing center in Limbe. The seamstresses here often lack electricity as gas for the generators is expensive and needs to be hauled from Cap Haitian, 3 hours away. They have treadle sewing machines, but these machines lack the zigzag stitch that is needed to construct some of the components of the menstrual pad kits. Using Haitian ingenuity, they have utilized the electric machines that have a zig zag stitch by inserting the electric machine into the treadle machine base and using a treadle machine belt around the wheel of the electric machine. They are able to power the machine by using their feet on the treadle base! No electricity required and they can sew both straight stitch and zig zag.

We are hoping their ingenuity will only be a temporary solution as we are working to get solar panels installed on the roof of the sewing center so that electricity is readily available and free.

Please consider joining us on Saturday, October 22nd from 9 am to 4 pm (come for just a few hours or stay all day) as we cut components of the menstrual pad kits for our Haitian seamstresses as well as sew completed kits for distribution to schools throughout the world. We will be sewing at St Mary”s of the Lake in Plymouth. Potluck lunch. Plenty of jobs for both sewers and non-sewers. Bring sharp scissors and/or sewing machine. Hope to see some new faces.

Morpheus Band Concert a huge success!

FullSizeRender (3)The Morpheus Benefit Concert on Saturday night was hugely successful with over 140 people attending to hear tunes from the 1960’s and 70’s. Sweet Caroline had the audience standing and singing along, followed by Ike and Tina Turner look alikes serenading each other. Generous attendees donated over $7000 for funding microloans and support of the sewing program. Thank you to Morpheus band members for donating their time and musical talents.

March 12th Sewing Event

Make your calendars!  March 12th
Our local group of Days for Girls will have a workday on Saturday, March 12th from 9-4.  We will meet in the community room at St. Mary of the Lake Catholic Church located at 105 Forestview Lane N in Plymouth.
For directions from where you live click here:  St. Mary of the Lake
 
We will sew cotton shields and flannel liners so bring your sewing machine and/or serger along with basic sewing supplies and an extension cord.  There will be many activities for those who do not sew.  Lunch provided with soup, sandwiches, and coffee.  Please bring other food/snacks and/or beverages of your choice.  Elly and Leslee will update us on their recent trips to Haiti during lunch.
Donations We Need to complete the kits:
– Panties, Girls sized 10-14 and Women sized medium
– Washcloths – Costco has large packs at a good price
– Travel soaps if you have any

Fabric donations:

– Flannel yardage – please purchase “snuggle” flannel used for PJs, not the thin fabric sold for shirting.  Darks and brights – no pastels
– Quilting cottons – Darks and brights
– Remember no fabric with cartoon/licensed characters, military, animals, glitter.
Hope to see you on the 12th.  Come for the day or a few hours; we will put you to work!

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Days for Girls Sewing Event

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On a dreary Minnesota Saturday, 40 women and girls showed up to help sew reusable menstrual pads for distribution in Haiti. This was our third sewing event and our most productive, as we have perfected organization as well as improved cutting with the purchase of a die cut machine. Everyone from age 10 to 80 found a task as we completed 100 kits and partially finished another 100. Two church groups from Woodbury and Edina also attended as they are trying to start their own Days for Girls chapters. The completed kits will be distributed to women in rural areas of Haiti who have no access to disposable hygiene products. Our sister sewing group of Haitian women have completed their first large order of 100 kits and also received payment from the NGO that will be distributing the kits in their clinic. IMG_3208IMG_3206IMG_3200IMG_3211

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How mittens in MN can benefit a sewing center in Haiti

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This Friday, December 4th, from 9 am to 3 pm at Maple Grove Hospital, these mittens (made from recycled sweaters) and tote bags (constructed from used coffee bean burlap bags) will be for sale. All proceeds will be used to reinvest in fabric and sewing supplies for our sewing centers in Haiti that are constructing reusable menstrual pads and diapers. Keep you hands warm in stylish colors while you carry your Target purchases home in an attractive, reusable bag.

Give to the Max Day Fundraising Success

Thank you to all of our supporters on GiveMN Day. Due to your generous donations, we were able to meet our $3000 match and raised $4700, for a total of $7700. This will allow us to start 2 new groups of loans in January 2017 as well as honor our committments to increase funding for those women who started their loans in 2013.

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Successful Work Day

Our workday on Saturday cutting and sewing reusable menstrual pads was a great success. 23 women were present and worked from 9-4 pm. Amy Charpentier, the sewing expert from Days For Girls, gave a demo on the new die cutting machine that we have ordered. In one hour she was able to cut what would have taken us all day!
Pails containing pre-cut diapers and pad kits were packed into trucks on Monday and are on their way to Haiti via shipping containers. Once in Haiti, each of the 16 women in the sewing program will work on finishing 50 diapers and 2 pad kits that we will purchase from them in January.105 IMG_1678 (2)
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Help to sew reusable menstrual pads for girls in Haiti

We are now an official chapter of Days for Girls and will be holding our second sewing event on Sat, Oct 24th from 9-4 pm. No skills other than cutting necessary. See details below.

We are meeting at Interfaith Outreach & Community Partners (IOCP) located at 1605 HW 101 in Plymouth. The brick building is just north of the intersection of Co Rd 6 and HW 101.

What to Bring – if you have the items:
•Sewing and serger machines

•Basic sewing and machine supplies including good scissors

•Rotary cutters and mats

•Extension cords

•Food to share at lunch time

Questions or for more info, contact me at 612 849 6073.