Grand Opening of the New Days for Girls Sewing Center

Press release from Days for Girls

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Our local Chapter of Days for Girls is pleased to invite everyone to the Grand Opening of its NEW Sewing Center on Sunday, October 9, 2022. There will be free tours of the larger facility, opportunities for hands-on volunteer work, and refreshments. The group has repurposed two former Sunday school classrooms at Wesley United Methodist Church at 826 NW 23rd Avenue, Gainesville. The Grand Opening and Open House will begin at noon and go until 4 p.m.  

This Chapter of Days for Girls has its origins in a Girl Scout project in 2013. The Scouts decided to make reusable, washable menstrual supplies to help under-resourced girls in Africa stay in school despite having no access to disposable feminine hygiene supplies. This evolved into joining Days for Girls International and eventually traveling to four continents to teach people how to make these items.  

In 2017, the group acquired its first sewing center and began distributing washable menstrual products locally, realizing that anyone on a tight budget would benefit from products that last 3-5 years. Four years ago, the Chapter moved into Highlands Community Ministry building and earned grant money from various sources to support local distribution. The Kotranza Family Fund now sponsors 1000 local women and girls annually, and the Chapter has already exceeded this goal for 2022. Our new center at Wesley is 50% larger than our space was at Highlands.  

The current move increases sewing center space to over 1000 square feet. Generous sponsors have prepaid the rent for the first year so that Days for Girls volunteers can focus on production and distribution. With the help of interns, the volunteers sew and also table at community events. They distribute the menstrual hygiene items (pads and/or cups) to anyone interested in saving money, reducing trash, increasing comfort/safety & peace of mind, along with serving older people who are managing incontinence.  

In addition to offering sustainable menstrual hygiene management solutions locally and internationally, the Alachua Chapter of Days for Girls utilizes its “scraps” to make quilts and dog beds that are donated to those in need. And the sewing center is a place where other groups can plan sewing service projects.  These include making Memory Bears with Hospice and pillowcases for hospitalized children.

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The Days for Girls Sewing Center is a beloved site for internships, community service, and camaraderie.  This Open House is an opportunity for the public to learn more about Days for Girls.