The workroom is a whirlwind of eclectic fabric scraps and the roar of machines as BYU alumna Kimberly Foote arrives to pick up more supplies. The noise in the room ebbs and flows as women bustle in and out, chatting and carrying scissors and bundles of zebra-striped or polka-dotted fabric in their arms.
The little room, tucked in a business park basement, is abuzz with helping hands busy making reusable feminine hygiene kits for girls around the world.
When Foote goes to pick up her supplies, she’ll stay to help in the workroom for a while and then take her boxes of fabric and string back to her Provo apartment.
Because for Foote, serving is an everyday norm — serving in the temple, serving as a labor and delivery nurse, serving through family history work and serving with Days for Girls.
“I tell people I’m saving the world from the couch,” Foote said with a laugh.
Foote typically spends five to 10 hours of her week matching and cutting fabric, ironing and putting drawstrings into bags for the Days for Girls hygiene kits.
As Foote approached her BYU graduation last year, she said she felt like she needed more fulfilling ways to fill her time. That’s when she began working as a temple ordinance worker and Days for Girls volunteer.
Days for Girls International is a non-profit organization that creates reusable feminine hygiene kits. The organization has helped 640,000 girls in over 100 countries, according to its website. Volunteers not only distribute reusable pads but also teach health education and train recipients of kits to create kits to give to more girls in need, according to the website.
“It just makes a huge impact because a lot of times in other countries they don’t have access to any kind of pads or tampons, and so when they’re on their period they just have to stay at home,” Foote said. “And so they end up missing school. So you miss a week of school every month, and then you’re so far behind that a lot of times they end up dropping out of school.”
Foote said this lack of education affects girls’ rights.
“It’s just like fixing this one problem really changes everything,” Foote said.
Foote said she has involved practically everyone she knows in Days for Girls.
“I do it by myself a lot, but if anyone comes over to hang out, I’m like, ‘Hey, I’m doing this. Come join me,'” she said. “Or I’ll call people over specifically like, ‘Hey, I’m working on Days for Girls. You wanna come over?'”
Foote said cutting fabric is a fun activity to do while socializing and watching a movie, and she’s involved her roommates with the organization this way. She also said people seem really excited about it when she asks them to volunteer.
“She tells me how to do the simple things, and I help out with that,” said Bonnie Burr, Foote’s roommate.
Foote said her mission to the Philippines opened her eyes to the poverty around the world and helps her to realize how necessary her service is.
“It’s meaningful and I know that it’s making a big impact, but it’s also something that I can easily fit into my schedule,” Foote said.
Her newest interest is family history work. Foote laughingly described it as a grandma hobby, but said it’s become easier now with the new and updated Family Search website.
“It’s fun. It’s cool. It’s just like this big puzzle to try to figure out who’s related to who,” she said.
Christina Foote, Kimberly’s mother, said she and her husband have tried to teach their six children to serve as they have grown up and traveled around the world.
“I can see that that’s rubbed off on them. That’s become part of who our kids are,” Christina said. “They love to serve. They love to serve their ancestors. They love the temple. It’s neat as a parent to kind of see that it stuck.”
Kimberly graduated from the BYU nursing program in December and works as a labor and delivery nurse at Timpanogos Regional Hospital, which she said is her dream job.
“It’s just the innate desire to help people and help people feel comfortable in a stressful time — and to have the knowledge to actually help them,” she said.
Foote’s mother said her daughter has the heart for nursing.
“I’m really proud of her,” Christina said. “Nursing is a really hard major to get into at BYU and to successfully complete, and to be able to become a labor and delivery nurse as her first job, that’s also a really hard job to get.”
Kimberly works the night shift three days a week. Her duties as a labor and delivery nurse include attaching the expectant mothers to IVs and monitors, checking their dilation and contractions, analyzing the baby’s heart rate, administering medications and teaching the patient how to push. She helps monitor the patient two hours after delivery and teaches them how to breastfeed.
In a year, Foote will be trained to take care of babies right after they are born. She’ll be able to do things like dry them off and assess their breathing.
Burr said Kimberly helps people feel comfortable, which is a great asset to her nursing career.
“One of the greatest things about her is that she can talk to anyone. Even if they’re way different than her and they have nothing in common, she can get them talking,” Burr said. “And she can become friends with basically anyone she wants to.”