When I was a child, my mom would sew up a storm – everything from curtains and bedspreads to dresses, shorts, and outfits for my siblings and me. Looking back on my childhood days, I'm especially fond of the Easter and Christmas dresses she created – my sister and I always had something new and truly beautiful to wear. As I thought of this issue and Easter approaching, I came across a fantastic organization called Dress A Girl Around the World which distributes handmade dresses to impoverished girls in the United States and in 80 countries internationally. This year, if you’re sewing your children’s church or party outfit, take some time to create a dress or two to send to this organization.
Dress A Girl Around the World is a part of Hope 4 Women International, a 501c-3 nondenominational Christian organization founded in 2006. The mission of the Dress A Girl Around the World Campaign is simple yet so impactful. Create beautiful dresses so every girl, no matter ethnicity or socioeconomic status, knows that she is beautiful – inside and out! Many recipients only own one dress- the one that is created for her – and this simple gift helps cultivate dignity and respect in themselves and their peers.
For great step-by-step info on creating a Dress a Girl Around the World Dress, visit their web site at www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com/patterns. Some helpful guidelines to follow when creating your dress:
• Use printed and colorful cotton fabrics; avoid see-through, transparent, or light-colored fabrics.
• Trims and embellishments must be able to withstand heavy-duty washing, especially against hard rocks or in river streams. Please make sure add-ons are securely fastened as repairs are often not probable.
• Add pockets! Many girls live in one-room homes and do not own possessions. A pocket can truly become “their special place” of their own. (For a complete list of guidelines, make sure to check out their web site.)
Once your dress has been created, visit their site at http://www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com/our-area-state-ambassado to find your local State Ambassador. By emailing your State Ambassador, you will be provided with a shipping address to ship your dress. Many State Ambassadors also will arrange a meet-up place and time for you to drop your dress off if in your local area. Some State Ambassadors also organize sewing groups at local fabric stores or community centers, which is a great opportunity to meet other creators in your area. If there's no representative in your area, you can mail your dress to:
Hope 4 Women International
Dress A Girl Around the World
Craft Ideas Call-Out
2115 E. Cedar Street #3
Tempe AZ 85281
Once your State Ambassador has your dress, it is then carried and distributed to girls in other countries when representatives visit impoverished lands. To date, Dress a Girl Around the World has delivered over 280,000 dresses! For more info on Dress A Girl Around the World, visit their web site at www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com.
Let’s help in the effort! Take a photo of your dress and email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell us about your special dress and your hope for the girl who receives it. We’ll post updated info on
www.CraftIdeas.com and our social sites throughout the upcoming months.
If you know of a great organization that is promoting creative, crafty call-outs, or one that needs our readers’ help, please let us know.
Happy (and meaningful) crafting!