Dedicated and clearly focused women of our church and friends completed their February-long initiative on Saturday, February 25, with a blessing of the dresses they had created as part of the international Dress a Girl Around the World mission. It brought to an end still another amazing story for this group.
Their goal this year was to finish “just one more dress” than the 418 they finished last year. The 2023 count came in at 458!
Since our church’s involvement with this mission began in 2016, our group has finished an incredible high praise-worthy 2,537 dresses — an amazing total considering the first year’s total was only 116.
Jackie Dewey, the Dress a Girl ambassador for Maine and New Hampshire, was at the church on Saturday to collect this year’s dresses. She thinks they will be delivered to the Serving in Jesus’ Name charity organization in McLean, Virginia, which distributes clothing to orphanages in Kenya. “These girls have nothing,” Jackie said. “They are in orphanages because their parents can’t afford to raise them. They don’t even have underwear.”
Judith Hill organized this year’s dresses sessions at the church on Saturday mornings throughout February. Some women have also been sewing dresses at their homes throughout the past year.
Judith addressed the group on Saturday by having everyone sit in a circle, surrounded by the dresses they had created. She asked everyone to reach out their hands, gaze at their hands, and continue to see each set of hands while listening to a prayer. In part, she then said, “Loving God, we give you thanks for the gift of our hands. Give us the grace to see our hands as you see them as instruments of love, grace, and life. May the sewing these hands have done bring joy to your heart as it does ours.”
Judith then presented each of the women a clutch of roses and heart-shaped chocolates. Afterward, Lili Acheson presented Judith a bouquet of her own for all the work she has done throughout the year to make this conclusion possible.
Following a scripture reading from Matthew 25: “Whatever you do for the least of these . . .”, CEUMC Pastor Kathleen Decker-Szakas blessed the women and dresses, telling them, “Your work ripples out in actions we will never see, but the ripples will be far and wide”.
Afterward, everyone gathered up the 458 dresses, neatly folded them and stacked them in bins to eventually be delivered to young girls living in poverty throughout the world.
Bless everyone who has made this outpouring of love possible for an eighth straight year!