Dear Husband and I have visited many, many churches in Pittsburgh and finally landed at Third Presbyterian Church (Fifth & Negley). One ministry with which Third Pres is very active is the international charity Days for Girls, which produces reusable cloth sanitary kits for disadvantaged schoolgirls. (I admit I have some reservations about the whole idea: why not provide them with more durable menstrual cups, without all the expenditure of money, labor, and time that goes into making the kits?) As it is, Days for Girls has two arms: volunteers in wealthy communities and micro enterprises in a handful of developing areas.
What happens here is that people donate cloth scraps and hotel soaps, time to cut/sew/assemble the kits, and money for postage. The free kits (and some basic hygiene education) are intended to help their recipients continue to attend school, avoid pregnancy, and eventually learn/work their way out of poverty. With a light clinical schedule for the last month, I have been stopping by for a couple hours to cut and sew. The Viking sewing machines are *a little* less cantankerous than my mother's old Singer, and if the noise is not too great and my neighbor hasn't got headphones in, we chat about the Pride parade, or superhero movies, or the difference between Presbyterians and Methodists (besides "debts" versus "trespasses," not much, in practice). It has been a relaxing and rewarding break in the middle of my week, and I'm sorry that it will soon be sacrificed to the grind of rotations.