A faithful group of women are helping Ingleside United Methodist Church engage with the global community by sewing and packaging hygiene kits for girls living in Uganda.
These kits are badly needed in underserved countries that have minimal resources. Most of the women who volunteer with this project are retired school teachers and administrators who believe heartily in helping girls to have access to health resources and access to education," said Rev. Ali Young, pastor of Ingleside UMC.
Ev Auster, a member of Ingleside and church coordinator of the "Days for Girls" project, is passionate about the ministry. "Days for Girls" is actually an international organization based in Washington State. We follow their guidelines when making the kits. The sewing group at Ingleside loves talking about the DFG project when shopping for material, or any time there are other women that will listen."
The finished kits are usually hand delivered to Uganda by Grace Baptist Church, which is located near Ingleside in the mid-city area of Baton Rouge. "In November of last year, two of our young adults went with the Baptist mission team to help pass out the kits at a women's clinic and to establish relationships with people that were being served," said Young.
Nikki Leon and Drew Greene, Ingleside's two volunteers, worked with the mission team in putting on a three-day workshop designed to serve and equip local pastors, children and women. Nikki worked closely with a member of Grace Baptist on preparing a lesson plan for the workshops which focused on business, budgeting, sex education, AIDS, baby development and life skills.
Before Leon left on the mission, Ev Auster and her team of volunteers at Ingleside created 50 of the "Days for Girls" kits to send to Busembatia, Uganda.
The "Days for Girls" kits were greatly appreciated, as many women do not have access to clean feminine products. "Many of the women and girls cheered when I announced what we had brought as gifts, and several even tried to sneak back inside to get a second kit," said Leon with a laugh.
The group of multi-generational volunteers who sew and assemble the Days for Girls kits are not only reaching across continents, they are promoting ecumenical volunteerism and partnership within the Baton Rouge District of the Louisiana Conference. "The team includes a member of Blackwater UMC and a volunteer from an area Episcopalian church. Volunteers from Ingleside have served as a teaching resource for churches like St. John's UMC in Baton Rouge, instructing their volunteers on how to make the kits," said Young, who added that the Days for Girls project is spearheaded through a nonprofit organization.
Adapted from the Louisiana Annual Conference website
One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the World Service Fund is the financial lifeline to a long list of Christian mission and ministry throughout the denomination. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the World Service Fund apportionment at 100 percent.