Church group sewing for children in Ethiopia
Barbara Hendrix has created 50 dresses for Evangelical Presbyterian Church’s Little Dresses for Africa project.
The Little Dresses for Africa project started in June, building on a connection church members Dawn and Alan Kicklighter made with the No Ordinary Love Ministries orphanage this year while adopting two Ethiopian boys.
“We sewed dresses and shorts from pillowcases, in part, to also let the African children know that they were already loved and prayed for daily,” said sewing circle coordinator Anne Doak.
Congregation members were asked to bring in linens and sewing supplies so the women could make enough dresses to fill one suitcase.
“Like the story of the loaves and fishes, the pillowcases, fabric and notions began arriving in amazing numbers,” Doak said. “We have now done that twice, and a third group of dresses are waiting for someone who is traveling to Ethiopia to transport our third offering.”
The church packs the dresses in travelers’ luggage — usually, 25 at a time, Doak said.
To date, 200 dresses have been distributed to two Ethiopian missions in Addis Ababa — No Ordinary Love Ministries and Embracing Hope Ministries — with a third group of 100 dresses awaiting shipment.
Seamstress Barbara Hendrix has made 50 of the dresses herself.
“It’s a labor of love,” she said.
Lydia Guild workers Sheri Dusse and her daughter Hannah helped make some of the dresses and flew to Ethiopia and brought the clothing, baby formula and medical supplies from their church.
“It was awesome to see animals in the wild and, more importantly, understand how fortunate we are as Americans,” Dusse said. “Most of the children don’t possess even a single pair of shoes.”
The church’s seamstresses have no plans to stop sewing.
“This is an ongoing project that will continue as long as there is a need,” said Doak.
The need apparently is great, not only in Africa but also in the United States as well. The Lydia Guild took on a second ministry in October creating bright and cheerful pillowcases for the children’s pediatric unit at Tampa General Hospital.