Days for Girls is a program that has provided over 1.5 million women and girls in 141 countries with small washable, reusable pads in a renewable bag filled with menstrual supplies, according to Pam Bahr, organizer of a local group who create the products.
Bahr told members of Maquoketa Woman’s Club that in 2008, Celeste Mergens of Bella, Washington, realized that a whole school year of time could be lost by girls who did not attend when they had their periods due to lack of supplies. And so Days for Girls was born.
The local group began when Maquoketan Courtney Becker heard about the program, and asked if women of her church would be interested in sewing for this project.
Pam met with groups in Cedar Rapids and Monticello before organizing the Maquoketa group.
Five to a dozen women meet monthly at the Maquoketa Public Library, bring sewing machines, and follow detailed directions to make the shields, liners, pads and bags. All material is donated through the Cedar Rapids center where Pam delivers finished items.
The program has made a positive impact. More information is available on line at https://www.daysforgirls.org.
Those interested in participating may contact Pam Bahr.
President Karen Slattery called the meeting to order with the Pledge of Allegiance and Club Collect.
Twenty-two members answered roll call, including new member Teddy Crawford.
The secretary’s report and correspondence was read by Mary Melvold, secretary pro-temp. The treasurer’s report was given.
Karen Slattery gave a glimpse into club history from November 1904 regarding a water fountain donated to beautify Mt. Hope Cemetery.
The club donated $575 toward the project; a men’s club added another $200. In 1942, the fountain was declared beyond repair and was sold for scrap without consulting the women who paid for upkeep throughout the years.
Reading co-chair Mary Herring collected reading lists and set the goal of again becoming a 100 percent club; Nancy Wagoner, scholarship chair, reminded all that Feb. 1 is the deadline to apply for scholarships, and orders were taken for bridge notecards from GFWC/Iowa.
Lisa Gottschalk shared a picture of the club entry in the Ohnward’s Festival of Trees fundraiser. It is a table runner, center piece and painting made by Karen Hansen, Karen Slattery, Diane Nie, and Lisa Gottschalk. It will be donated in memory of Margaret McCarthy.
Club members assembled “basic bags” and Lisa Gottschalk will take them to Dubuque to be distributed to needy women in area counties. Forty-five bags were contributed this year.
Members signed up to ring the Salvation Army kettle bell on Dec. 16 at Wal-mart, and a collection was taken for the STAR program and Toys for Tots. Kathy Johnston, Jane Bentrott and Mary Melvold will pick out gifts for adult and children’s gifts.
Karen Hansen told about Martin Rinkart who wrote the Thanksgiving hymn “Now Thank We All Our God.” Members sang two verses together.
Thanks was given to Mary Herring, and Lisa Gottschalk, co-hostesses, who served carrot cake and apple cake for dessert.
The next meeting will be Dec. 13 at the First Lutheran Church. Karen Slattery and Nancy Wagoner will serve as hostesses. Tapestry Singers will provide the program.