Brighton High FCCLA Club Organizes Community Sew Night for Charity
Jan 28, 2016 03:38PM ● Published by Bryan Scott
By Stephanie Lauritzen | Stephanie@mycityjournals.com
Cottonwood-Holladay - For many girls, attending school is a regular part of their weekday routine. But for girls in developing nations, a lack of adequate feminine hygiene supplies often prevents them from going to school, forcing students to take long absences or drop out entirely. At Brighton High School, the members of FCCLA, or Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America, decided to help solve this problem by organizing a fundraiser and community service-project benefiting the Days for Girls organization. Days for Girls is a non-profit founded to “help girls gain access to quality sustainable feminine hygiene, vital health knowledge, and income-generation opportunities.”
FCCLA adviser Camille Haskan said her students chose to support Days for Girls due to corresponding values between the club and the organization.
“Our focus is on the family, service and becoming strong leaders in our communities. Service is a great way to promote leadership in communities and at school,” Haskan said.
Student FCCLA officers set a goal to gather supplies and sew 500 drawstring bags used for hygiene kits by Dec. 10.
In order to reach their goal, they involved students from the Sewing and Child Development classes, Service Learning class, and the West Jordan Chapter of Days for Girls. Officers also organized a Community Sew Night on Oct. 12, inviting both students and community members from throughout the valley to come and sew bags. Hillcrest High and Jordan High schools sent their FCCLA members to help, and together, the Community Sew Night produced 150 bags. West Jordan High school FCCLA students also contributed 75 bags.
For students, the event provided an opportunity to serve others while learning about the challenges facing female students in other countries.
“I really liked working on the Days for Girls project. It felt really great knowing that what our class and other classes were doing was going to help a lot of girls. I felt really bad when I heard about their situation. I am really glad I was able to be a part of the project,” Brighton student Calena S. said.
Other students said they were humbled by the experience.
“I had no clue that women were in that kind of situation. These kits will do so much for them such as keeping them clean, giving them independence and letting them not be exploited for the things they need,” fellow Bengal Garret A. said.
In addition to the Community Sew Night, students also organized awareness and fundraising campaigns. They invited Debbie Young, one of the directors for the Utah Days for Girls chapter, to come speak to students during an assembly and show videos of girls receiving their hygiene kits. Young explained that each hygiene kit would help a girl attend school for 2-4 years.
FCCLA partnered with Water Gardens Movie Theaters and sold ticket packages, raising over $900 needed to purchase supplies. By Dec. 10, FCCLA bought over 120 yards of fabric, 1,600 yards of ribbon, and worked with over 200 volunteers to make 522 bags. Their bags were filled with sanitary supplies and sent to Africa, Costa Rica, Philippines, Nepal and Haiti.
“These kits allow girls to stay in school, avoid early marriage, exploitation and the sex trade. Their self-value increases as they thrive, grow and contribute to their communities. Education allows girls and women to break the cycle of poverty and violence,” Haskan said.
Haskan believes the event was a success due to the collaborative efforts of many groups and individuals.
“The West Jordan Days for Girls chapter, specifically Kim Wu and Francis Wylie Pendley, were a wonderful support. They cut out 120 yards of fabric, helped us sew bags and helped us organize our community sew night,” Haskan said.
By uniting students from various schools and classes, Brighton’s FCCLA accomplished their goal and brought awareness to an important cause. Due to their success, the club will be competing in the FCCLA Region competition on Feb. 10 at BYU. Haskan said her students are looking forward to sharing their accomplishments with the judges, and continuing to work with the Days for Girls organization.
For more information about Days for Girls, visit the organization’s website: http://www.daysforgirls.org/.