attention farmgirl seamstresses

I just learned about a charitable organization that could use some of your sweetest stitchery. I hope you have your needles thready. (Wink, wink, do I have you in stitches yet?)

Little Dresses for Africa (LDFA) creates and collects simple handmade dresses and distributes them throughout orphanages, churches, and schools in Africa. The goal?

“To plant in the hearts of little girls that they are worthy,” says founder Rachel O’Neill.

Rachel’s project sprouted nearly four years ago in a church basement with the help of five friends. Initially, they planned to send 1,000 handmade dresses to little girls in need. But one stitch led to another, and Little Dresses for Africa blossomed into a thriving foundation that has now gathered more than 500,000 dresses from seamstresses worldwide and delivered them to 31 countries in Africa.

Swaziland children wear dresses donated by Little Dresses for Africa. Courtesy of LDFA.

According to LDFA, over one million children in Malawialone have been orphaned as a result of HIV/AIDS, and girl orphans are among the most devalued and abused in their culture, facing unimaginable oppression. “We‘re not just sending little dresses,” O’Neill insists. “We’re sending HOPE!”

LDFA now accepts “little britches” for boys, too, and they send their handmade clothing to countries in crisis around the globe: Honduras, Guatemala, Philippines, Cambodia, and Mexico. Thousands of outfits were shipped to Haiti after the earthquake last year. In addition, they have sent dresses to children in need right here in the United States.

So, if you’re thready, there are several ways to help LDFA change lives, “one little dress at a time.” Here’s how:

Sew dresses (use your own patterns or the free PillowCase Dress Directions provided by LDFA)

Size and pack little dresses for shipment

Donate new or gently used pillowcases, fabric, sewing materials, boxes, tape, and postage

Donate financially

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