What a story this has been over the past two months. Women from our church, other churches, and other communities gathered for a tutorial in January and then spent four Saturdays in February creating dresses for the international Dress a Girl Around the World mission.
When the women came together for a final time to bless and pack up the dresses on March 7, it was clear this was something special.
Our church began its mission with Dress a Girl in 2016. A small group of women created 116 dresses in four weeks. In 2017 they finished 166 dresses; in 2018 it was 193; and in 2019 the end result was 295 — at the time an unthinkable total.
But this year, the word went out and women from surrounding communities and churches joined women from our congregation. A total of 24 women, over four weeks, turned out 550 dresses for girls living in poverty around the world! It was stunning, so much so that Coordinator Judith Hill from our church had trouble just relaying that number to the other participants! It was a moment of unbridled pride and joy.
On March 7, the dresses were all gathered and neatly folded.
They then were packed in suitcases for shipment around the world.
The suitcases with the dresses were taken into our sanctuary for a blessing.
Linda Webster led the blessing.
Afterward, each of the women who participated in the sewing mission were presented a rose and small gift from our Dress a Girl coordinators, Judith Hill, Linda Webster and Lili Acheson.
While many of the dresses were created during the Saturday sessions at our church, some women worked at home. Beverly Merrill, for example, created 80 dresses in her South Portland sewing room.
And Judith Hill finished 70 dresses at both the church and in her Scarborough home.
Congratulations to all the women who helped this mission to be such a success and change the lives of young girls in other parts of the world who have so little.