Tag Archives: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Baking the World a Better Place

Baking the World a Better Place

Baking the World a Better Place

This month, women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are celebrating the 175th anniversary of the, the Relief Society, the oldest and largest women’s organization in the world. Rather than a church-wide “event,” Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president, encouraged the Relief Society’s more than 7 million members to remember the milestone during meetings in their local congregations.

Women in Pensacola’s congregation of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints celebrated the event by “Baking the World a Better Place.” 16 ladies got together with sugar, flour, shortening, apples and spices to make apple pies. In today’s world, it is often easier and certainly quicker to stop by the local grocery store to make a selection. Making pies from scratch is a project that requires talent, a desire to serve, and a lot of patience.

Event leader, Vicky Garrett, arranged for the ingredients, some of which came from members’ “food storage”, mixing bowls, measuring tools, rolling pins, pie pans and apple peelers. “The plan was to make service pies,” she said. Members and guests worked together to mix the pastry ingredients and roll out the dough. “We had to be careful not to over work the flour and shortening mixture to assure a tender crust.”

Once the pastry was placed in the pans, other women filled the shell with apples, flour, sugar and cinnamon. The final group applied the top layer of pastry, cutting special shapes for decorating, applying an egg wash, and then monitoring the baking time.

Baking the World a Better Place

Service to Others

While the pies baked, members had a discussion of the importance of serving in families, communities and the world. The Relief society purposes document states “Relief Society helps prepare women for the blessings of eternal life as they increase faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and His Atonement; strengthen individuals, families, and homes through ordinances and covenants; and work in unity to help those in need.”

The last part of the event was a drawing for the pies. The winners were challenged to find someone who should receive the pies. Recipients included a widow, a lady who had surgery, and a family packing to leave the area.

A ukulele group member, who is a single woman and lives alone, received one of the pies. She shared it when the group went to lunch together following a practice session. She asked the waitress for a to-go box for the one remaining piece. Then she gave the waitress the last slice of the pie.

Another pie was delivered to two brothers who care for their 96 year old mom. “It was yummy,” they said.

The Pensacola, Florida Relief Society sisters are baking the world a better place and brightening the lives of others, one pie at a time.

Baking the World a Better Place
Photos by Vicky Bright Garrett


Days for Girls Feminine Hygiene Kits Completed

Women from the Pensacola Stake of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are proud to be a part of making feminine hygiene kits for women and girls in need through www.DaysForGirls.org.

Young women and girls in developing countries may not have access to sanitary feminine hygiene products to use during their monthly menstrual periods. What if not having sanitary supplies meant missing days from school or days of isolation? Many girls have to make do with leaves, mattress stuffing, newspaper, corn husks or whatever else they can find, but still miss up to two months of education and opportunities every school year. Over time, this missed education perpetuates poverty in their lives.

Be an Instrument for Change in the World

Women of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Pensacola, Florida, accepted the challenge to be an instrument for social change for women all over the world. When they learned that hygiene items they have used for years were not available in other places, they selected a service project to create reuseable sanitary feminine hygiene kits working with the Days for Girls, an organization set up to organize volunteer seamstresses.

Sewers created the three basic parts in the hygiene kits  from patterns developed by this international organization. The parts include flannel inserts to absorb menstrual flow. These liners are made from flannel serged around the edges to prevent fraying and include an additional center strip for extra absorbancy. These are placed into shields which snap through the legs of under panties.

feminine hygiene
photo by: Billie Nicholson

Shields are made from colorful 100% cotton fabric and contain a waterproof liner stitched inside. They have end pockets to hold the liners in place. Darker colors are preferred because they camouflage blood stains. When they are  not in use, they can all be stored in drawstring fabric bags.

Feminine Hygiene
photo by: Robert Nicholson

Making Feminine Hygiene Kits

The first evening, thirty ladies got together from four different church congregations. Enthusiasm for the project spread throughout the area. During the summer and fall, work groups met monthly  at five locations across the Florida Panhandle. As the project continued, unfinished items moved from work group to work group. The project included school age girls to grandmothers . Even  non-sewers could help by cutting patterns, ironing and turning parts inside out was .

Feminine Hygiene
Photo by: Billie NIcholson

Work sessions were scheduled and announced on social media as well as the volunteer service website, JustServe.org. This free website allows organizations to post upcoming projects and the number of volunteers needed. It provides a place for workers to sign up and communicate with the organization as well as collects metrics on how many volunteer hours were donated.

Completed Feminine Hygiene Kits

Completed kits include the three sewn parts as well as panties, soap, Ziplock bags for storing and washing soiled items. The kits also include health and hygiene information.

How did the Pensacola group do? At last count, the group had completed:
749 flannel liners
351 shields and
294 drawstring bags.

What kind of influence do these kits have? They help girls stay in school, strengthen confidence and support healthy communities.

What difference do they make? After distribution, school absences dropped from 25% to 3% in Uganda. In Kenya they dropped from 36% to 8%. In general, women menstruate 60 days or 2 months a year. Days for Girls feminine hygiene kits are designed to last 2-4 years. Imagine earning back 240 days of opportunity.

Since their establishment, Days for Girls has developed a global network of over 780 chapters and teams, companies, governments, and non-government organizations in over 100 countries.

In addition to organizing volunteer seamstresses around the world, currently, they are also running micro-enterprises for women’s groups in under developed countries to make these kits and provide for women in their communities.

They are working to help girls gain access to quality sustainable feminine hygiene, vital health knowledge, and income generation opportunities.

In conclusion, working on this project, women across the Florida Panhandle have come together to serve women in other parts of the world. They remember, “when you are in service to your fellow man, you are in the service of your God.”

For additional information on this project, contact www.DaysforGirls.org.

For additional local projects in which you can volunteer, visit: www.JustServe.org. You’ll be glad you did.