Here are some hands-on projects your women's and girls' ministries can do (or spearhead as a church or community project).
Offering of Letters
Often, there are new members and new leaders in Congress with little to no experience with child hunger or child nutrition programs. Even incumbents need reminding and they need to hear your views on the topic. You can use tools available from Bread for the World to help educate your elected officials. Host an "offering of letters" in your congregation and invite people to sit down together to write members of Congress about our government's response to hunger. Visit http://www.bread.org/offering-letters
for information and a downloadable handbook.
Days for Girls
Did you know that in many places of the world, girls may miss up to two months of school or work every year because they don't have sanitary supplies? Often, girls will end up using materials such as corn husks that can cause infection and crippling scarring. The simple goal of providing safe and hygienic sanitary supplies to girls can enable them to receive education and break the cycle of poverty. Visit www.daysforgirls.org
for information about creating a Days for Girls Kit including downloadable patterns and labels. You will also find information about where to mail your kits for distribution.
Little Dresses for Africa
Many groups have participated in this international project that began by simply making simple sundresses out of pillowcases for children living in poverty in warmer climates.This can be an excellent intergenerational project, and a good way to involve members of the community as well. Little Dresses for Africa is a not-for-profit Christian organization that provides relief to children in Africa by helping to provide clothing. Since it began, it has expanded to include distribution in 47 countries in Africa, 31 countries in other places of the world; it has also expanded to include clothing for boys as well as girls. For more information, including downloadable instructions and shipping information, visit www.littledressesforafrica.org
Church World Service (CWS) Kits
CWS kits are small packages of supplies assembled by volunteers and shipped by Church World Service to people in need around the world. CWS provides school kits, hygiene kits, baby care kits, and emergency cleanup buckets. Host a CWS kit drive in your ministry, congregation, or community. This is another great intergenerational project, or a way to get members of the community involved as well. For more information about CWS kits, visit www.cwsglobal.org/get-involved/kits/
Advertising is everywhere: the average American consumer sees over 3,000 commercial messages each day. In many of these messages women are depicted as sexual objects. The exploitation of women via the Internet holds a host of threats to women and children, i.e. trafficking, prostitution, mail-order-bride trade, pornography, battering, and sexual harassment.(http://www.csun.edu/~sm60012/WS_300/OLD%20Group%20Projects/Women%20and%20Exploitation%20Project.htm.
Visit the following websites. Sign petitions, send emails, contact elected officials, and encourage others to do the same. Get involved. Your voice matters!
The Parents Television Council (PTC) is a non-partisan education organization of over 1.3 million everyday citizens advocating responsible entertainment. The PTC works with the entertainment industry to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children and presses elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. http://w2.parentstv.org/main/About/Default.aspx
The National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCOSE) is the leading national organization addressing the public health crisis of pornography and exposing the links between all forms of sexual exploitation. NCOSE embraces a mission to defend human dignity and to advocate for the universal right of sexual justice, which is freedom from sexual exploitation, objectification, and violence. http://endsexualexploitation.org/about/
Every refugee family is assigned to a non-governmental organization that will assist them upon arrival in the United States. Partner with a local Church World Service office or affiliate by serving as friends and advocates to refugees as they establish new lives. Gather furniture, household supplies, clothing, and more. Contact your local CWS office or affiliate, write firstname.lastname@example.org
or call CWS at 212-870-3300 to get started!
250,000+ care packages are annually sent to new recruits, veterans, First Responders, individually-named U.S. service members deployed overseas, wounded heroes and their caregivers. Handmade items needed for these care packages are knitted and/or crocheted scarves, sewn bandana cool-ties, braided paracord bracelets, and/or created greeting cards. Visit Operation Gratitude at https://www.operationgratitude.com/can-help/
for patterns and additional information.
In January 2015, 564,708 people were homeless on a given night in the United States (http://www.endhomelessness.org/pages/snapshot_of_homelessness
) and every year in the United States, somewhere between two million and four million women are assaulted by their spouse or partner (http://www.npr.org/news/specials/housingfirst/whoneeds/abuse.html
Reach out to a shelter in your community providing residents with handmade washcloth toiletry roll-ups filled with travel-size toiletries such as toothpaste, toothbrushes, combs, lotion, etc. Visit http://www.moores-sew.com/blog/washcloth-toiletry-roll-up/
for step-by-step directions.
If you or your women’s or girls' group do any of these things to do, let us know. Share it on AB Women’s Ministries' Facebook page