Adjusting to pandemic restrictions
After women from our church and friends from surrounding communities created 550 dresses last year for the international Dress a Girl Around the World mission, it was uncertain they would be able to continue this year because of COVID pandemic restrictions on group gatherings. The group gathered on Saturday mornings for five weeks in our church last year to turn out their amazing total of dresses for girls living in poverty around the world.
But behind the rallying efforts of Judith Hill, a small group of women worked individually in their homes, allowing this vital mission to once again make a difference for young girls who have virtually nothing. Since 2016, our church’s women, with friends, have created 1,661 dresses, including 367 this year, almost unthinkable considering the circumstances.
Beverly Merrill, on her own, produced 101 dresses, working in her South Portland home with only a faithful dog Bea to keep her company.
The at-home brigade of sewers also included:
One woman, Maria Dietzel, who worked with the group in our church last year but who had since moved away, drove back to the church when all dresses were being gathered and delivered 40 more.
On February 27, all the sewers delivered the dresses they had made to the church for Dress A Girl Regional Ambassador Jackie Dewey to prepare for dellivery to girls living in poverty around the world. Pastor Priscilla Dreyman blessed the 367 dresses and Jackie Dewey thanked the woman for the church’s six-year commitment. “Each girl is provided dignity through having appropriate clothing and is less likely to be abducted into a life of sex and slavery.”
Internationally, since 2006, Dress a Girl Around the World has provided 2,130,000 dresses to girls in 90 countries.