"90 Lives Changed in About 30 Minutes"
Last updated 4/11/2019 at 9:57am
About 90 lives were changed in 30 minutes.
That's surely what happened March 26 at the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center, during the "Thank You Happy Hour" event, sponsored by the Soroptimist International of Borrego Springs.
Soroptimist International of Borrego Springs, chartered in 1962, improves the lives of women and girls in the community of Borrego Springs, and throughout the world. They provide student scholarships, small business grants, career workshops and mentorship support for the women and girls.
During this event, guests were treated to appetizers and wine, along with a presentation by Days for Girls Chief Financial Officer Gina Grimm. Days for Girls is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with the mission and vision to turn periods into pathways. The organization was founded by Celeste Mergens. After a visit to Kenya in 2008, she learned that girls in an orphanage were facing huge challenges each month because they lacked access to hygiene options. What first began as an effort to supply disposable pads quickly, evolved into a more sustainable solution. Days for Girls increases access to menstrual care and education by developing global partnerships, cultivating social enterprises, mobilizing volunteers, and innovating sustainable solutions that shatter sigma's and limitations for women and girls.
They have been around for at least 10 years, and developed an education curriculum that they've taught in over 127 different countries, where they have reached over 1.2 million girls in six different continents.
Grimm explained that in many parts of the world, they are not taught about their bodies or what is going on. "People don't talk about it because it could be considered taboo, while some girls think they have cancer or a disease," she said. "We teach not just girls and women, but the boys and men too."
In the education curriculum, they are taught what puberty is and what's going on to boy and girl parts and what periods are. They also teach girls how to track their cycle, use their kits, and even self-defense.
There are five different types of kits: The Pod, DfG Pod Plus, Supreme DfG Kit, Heavy Flow Kit, and Menstrual Cup Kit. In these kits, they include a bag, which can be used as a drawstring backpack to hold the items, waterproof shields, a bar of soap, a washcloth, a pair of underwear, Ziploc plastic bags for washing and storage, absorbent liners, which are brightly colored to camouflage staining, and a care and use sheet. Each kit, depending on the amount of items inside, cost as low as $10.
Once an auctioneer, always an auctioneer. Yes, that is the one and only Martha Deichler, who put up $20, enough for two kits, and challenged those in attendance to match that. And of course, hands went up. They raised $571 total, then Elaine Tulving and Sherilynn Polanco evened it to $800. Barbara Coates interrupted and said, "No, it's $900 now."
Grimm was a bit shocked with the group, being one of the firsts to raise so much money in that amount of time. Well, welcome to Borrego.
Soroptimist International of Borrego Springs hopes to bring this curriculum to the high school S Club.