Lisa Stafford of Days for Girls
This month we highlight a volunteer of an organization that many in our community may not be aware of, Days for Girls. Lisa Stafford of Bridgeport works diligently from her home and with others in the community to help meet the needs of young girls hundreds of miles away, and more recently, right here as well. Days for Girls is an international organization that provides feminine hygiene kits to young girls that do not have supplies readily available to them. Providing this basic need allows young women to continue to attend school and continue to work to support their families. Lisa Stafford, November’s Celebrating Volunteer winner, learned of this group, and its mission, from reading an article found in “O”, Oprah’s Magazine in January of 2014. Days for Girls was initially founded on the idea to keep girls in school during the week they have their periods. The founder, who worked in a Kenyan orphanage, took notice of girls that missed lessons, meals and kept to themselves in their rooms as they did not have the means or basic sanitary supplies to address their needs. Since its creation, Days for Girls has distributed over 200,000 kits across 85 countries and 6 continents. Recently, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved distributions of the kits in the United States to cover the shortfall that food stamps and other public support creates.
With the rest of the local team (Lora Westfall, Karen Kaufmann, Lisa's husband Al and daughter Arielle), Lisa Stafford works to provide the products placed in each kit, which includes among other things, 8 hand sewn liners. Sewing events and fundraising take up a majority of Lisa’s time with the group, however her most rewarding effort is when the kits are forwarded to those in need. Over the past few years, the local chapter has sent over 200 full kits and over 250 sewn kit components to Guatemala, Madagascar, Ghana, Ethiopia, Zambia and other countries.WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather
“The poverty cycle can be broken when girls stay in school. Basic needs are not being met for young women across the globe. We create sustainable menstrual supplies that not only provides basic hygiene needs, but also the education about menstruation, reproduction, and personal hygiene that helps destigmatize this natural process,” Stafford states. “This comprehensive program allows girls to continue with their education, work, and family life with dignity. I volunteer my time to contribute to an effort that encourages young women to break this cycle of poverty by attending to their personal needs, educating them about their bodies and rights to their body, and by encouraging leadership roles in their communities through education and enterprise.”
“Lisa has worked hard to bring this issue to the forefront. I am sure many are unaware that this is a serious problem that exists in other countries and even right here at home.” Gretchen Ross of WBOY stated. “I am proud to honor her work and that of the local chapter of Days for Girls. The work they do makes a huge difference in the lives of many young women.”
“We are happy to bring attention to the work of Lisa Stafford and Days for Girls. It is difficult to understand what young women in developing nations, and sometimes in our own communities, face every day. This work is important for the long term success of young women everywhere.” Tim Miley, owner of The Miley Legal Group, stated. “Lisa works hard to bring awareness to this issue and I look forward to supporting this great cause.”
With her volunteer work, Lisa also works day to day to support our children as a school psychologist in Doddridge County. Over her career she has gained experience working with pediatrics, pediatric oncology and psychiatry. Lisa understands the issues facing young children and how something so simple as feminine hygiene can affect the education, development and daily life of young girls. Along with her three children, Lisa and her husband Al have been great supporters of this and many other causes.
The Celebrating Volunteers awardee receives recognition and $500 is contributed to the organization they represent in their name. Gretchen Ross of WBOY TV and Tim Miley of The Miley Legal Group work together to select the awardee form the many recommendations received form the public. The volunteer selected will have demonstrated their commitment to an organization through volunteerism and support.
“I am an avid supporter of volunteerism in our communities.” Miley stated. “The Celebrating Volunteers program is a way that we can recognize the hard work and dedication of individuals across our region.”
We look forward to recognizing a number of worthy individuals while giving their organizations a part of the spotlight. The program will continue recognizing volunteers throughout the coming year. In order to nominate a volunteer to receive this award, please click here.
For more information on the Days for Girls organization please visit their website at DaysforGirls.org