Days for Girls: Giving young women a better life

Carleen Wild
Posted 3/20/23


This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Days for Girls: Giving young women a better life


The good work being on sewing machines throughout the region cannot be overstated.
We’ve told you recently about a few locals — Doug Day, Gwen Reker, and others, working to make a difference, primarily for children and families through their handiwork and sewing machines. They operate quietly, behind the scenes, creating blankets for families in need or in crisis.
We were recently introduced to another entity altogether, Days for Girls, that is quietly having a tremendous impact on women a world away. Raising a little noise, however, might just help the team of volunteers broaden their reach.
A few here in Moody County are working to do just that.
Days for Girls, if you’ve never heard of it, is a global non-profit with a branch in Madison. The organization works to address the issue of menstrual hygiene management in developing countries through providing reusable menstrual products, education, and advocacy to ensure that all women and girls have access to safe and sustainable menstrual solutions.
Access to basic menstrual products is limited or non-existent across many parts of the globe. Often, girls and women are forced to resort to using unsanitary materials like old rags, newspapers, or even leaves, which can lead to serious health problems.

It also has larger societal implications.
“Back in 2020 I didn’t realize how many girls and women did not have what they needed to stay in school or to go to work,” said Monica Demaray, co-leader of the Days for Girls Madison SD Team. “When girls miss a week of school each month they fall behind and some eventually drop out. I was looking for a way to use my sewing skills to serve others and am so glad I found Days for Girls! As a retired Special Education teacher I believe in empowering others to be their best. By volunteering my time for Days for Girls I hope somewhere a girl or woman know that someone cares for them and wants them to be their best.”
Days for Girls seeks to provide sustainable, reusable menstrual products that can last for up to three years. The organization’s products include washable pads, menstrual cups, and other related items. The products are designed to be affordable, easy to use, and environmentally friendly, making them an ideal solution for women and girls in developing countries.
In addition to providing menstrual products, Days for Girls also provides education and advocacy to raise awareness about menstrual hygiene management and break down the stigma surrounding menstruation. The organization works with local partners and volunteers to distribute their products and provide educational workshops in the communities they serve.
The local chapter meets in a storefront in downtown Madison twice each week: Tuesdays 1:00-3:00 PM and Thursdays 5:00 - 7:00 PM. Volunteers come when they can. We have about 15 regular volunteers each week.  Other volunteers stop by to take tasks home to complete.
The landlord where the chapter meets offers his storefront free of charge. Another local donor ensures the cost of utilities is taken care of for the year.    
“Volunteers do not need to know how to sew or use a serger,” said Demaray. “We will help you learn but there are many non sewing tasks, such as tracing, cutting, adding snaps, prepping work for the sewers, etc.”
The community response, said added, has been overwhelming. Even youth throughout the region, upon learning of the mission, are working to get involved.
“We are grateful for the youth organizations that have helped. The Troy Toilers Pipestone County 4-H Club took our supply of white washcloths and underwear and returned them in beautiful tie-dye colors! A life skills class at Madison High School has folded totes of washcloths and cut size tags and are now washing/drying bolts of flannel. A local church youth group plans to help us roll 400 pairs of underwear,” she said.
Work sessions, according to Demaray, are filled with fun conversations, great fellowship, and coffee. For anyone that might like to get involved, she suggests reaching out via email at, messaging the organization on social media or stopping by 1-8 South Egan Avenue during a scheduled work session.
Monetary donations, otherwise, are used to purchase our fabric, underwear and other supplies. “The cost for materials for one kit is approximately $10. We are frugal shoppers and look for the best sales and prices!  We accept donations of good quality cotton fabric in bright busy colors but with no animals or faces.”
For more information, log onto