Tables were spread out across the Grande Ballroom and covered with fabric, linens and supplies March 5 to Celebrate International Women’s Day. UVU invited the nonprofit organization Days for Girls to campus to explain their mission, give students a chance to serve, and train volunteers on how to help assemble feminine hygiene kits for girls and women in need.
Celeste Mergens, Days for Girls’ CEO and founder, and Maggie Tobar, UVU’s own Days for Girls representative, shared that the purpose of the nonprofit organization was to provide sustainable and reusable pads for girls on their periods in rural areas of the world, as well as help educate and empower them to live life unashamed and unhindered by their periods.
Suzy Cox, an adolescent psychology professor at UVU, explained how she got the email announcing the event from the Women’s Success Center and decided she needed to come help and serve.
“I think it’s fantastic to bring women and girls around the world a sense of empowerment that they can, at any time, go and do what they need to do and not have to feel ashamed or ostracized.That’s the goal, right?” Cox said.
Makaye Wilcock, a behavioral science major, explained her impressions of the effect Days for Girls could have on the world.
“I think it’s cool that such a simple project can make such a difference because it’s super not a big deal for us. I just didn’t realize how affected these girls are by their period because it doesn’t feel like a big deal to me,” Wilcock said.
James Brandt, engineering major and an officer of UVU’s Phi Theta Kappa chapter, explained how he enjoyed giving his time in service to others and hoped to do so at this event.
“I worked in Haiti a couple years ago shortly after that earthquake, and it’s crazy to see the difference in poverty there and what we have here. Down there, to go to school, your family has to pay for you to go to school, even elementary school,” Brandt said. “So you know, I’d imagine something like [having your period] would affect [girls] even worse because they can’t go to school and they have a hard time going to school anyway.”
Natalie Jaco, Miss UVU 2018, contributed her time to the event through her connections with the Woman’s Success Center, as well as help Days for Girls and spread the word about the current shoe drive on campus that’s aimed at supporting the organization Shoes for Souls.
Abigail Lloyd, psychology major, explained her lasting impressions of helping to make the hygiene kits.
“I feel like periods are kind of taboo. … I feel like this helps to make them feel a little less scared about it and have a better understanding of what happens with your body and what happens to girls all over the world.” Lloyd said.