Get Local: Vestavia Hills Gives Back
Who knew that there were girls in Uganda made to compromise their education simply because their bodies are doing what God created them to do? I certainly didn’t and had never thought about this horrible predicament until I saw a video of Passion Partners’ Project: Purity. To see girls who are trying to make a difference for themselves in a poverty-ridden slum be relegated to a towel for a week a month because they don’t have access to sanitary products simply tore at my heart. These precious girls have set out to gain an education which is a grand feat in their area of the world. They’re striving to empower themselves and are hindered by the absence of something us Western world women take for granted.
The faces of these girls and the mission of Project: Purity spoke to me and to the other women on our Women’s Conference team at Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church in Birmingham, Alabama. We decided to take it on as our mission project for our annual women’s conference and set a goal to collect 8,000 pads. What happened next was truly beautiful. Women both in our church and in our community expressed similar passion for this mission, expressing over and over again the sadness it brought them that these girls don’t have the products that we simply run out to buy once a month and think of as an annoyance instead of a gift. Women set up their own collections at work and in their bible studies. Adult Sunday school classes and individuals wrote generous checks. High school girls on the youth floor dug into their own personal stashes at home to collect small bags of pads. Women young and old came together to help our sisters in Christ on the other side of the world. The result was astonishing. We not only met our goal, but exceeded it by over 75% with a grand total of 14, 144 pads!! We presented the number to Candice Moore at our conference and delivered them to Passion Partners’ headquarters in Nashville the following weekend. The pads are ready and waiting to be put on a plane for the next trip over the Uganda.
I’m not sure the exact reason that this project holds such a special place in my heart. Maybe it’s because it is about women helping women: women who will never meet but understand each other’s primitive needs. Maybe it’s because of my admiration for these girls’ determination to gain an education. Maybe it’s because I believe that these pads may help at least one girl escape a future of destitution and gain a future of prosperity. Whatever the reason, it is a mission that spoke loudly to me and to the women of Vestavia Hills and we will continue to spread the word and pray that the Holy Spirit moves other women to make the same decision to simply go out and buy some pads.
About the author: Kristin Martin took part in Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church’s annual women’s conference, “Designed to Shine,” where she learned about the needs facing the girls served through Project: Purity. If you are interested in coming up with a project like Kristin’s email Jordan Woodruff at Jordan@herpassionministries.com.