By Dan Pimentel
Girls of all ages love dresses. Most young ones are given dresses from the time they are infants. The delight increases as they mature, usually with the ultimate dresses being for prom or perhaps their wedding gown.
So it probably isn’t often that we give much thought to those girls throughout the world who don’t have a dress because they are refugees, live in a third-world country or are affected by other circumstances of poverty that don’t allow them to have what we now realize is a privilege, one nice dress.
With the knowledge of the benefits of providing girls with a dress, an organization Dress A Girl Around the World has adopted a goal. “We dream of a world in which every girl has at least one new dress! We want girls to know that they are worthy of love and respect. That God loves them!”
Palm Village Patio Home resident, Marilyn Chappell, contributed to this program in Santa Cruz, before recently moving to Palm Village. She organized an event at Palm Village on April 24th to prepare the parts of the dresses for sewing by others and then given to girls in Portugal via missionaries, Otto and Marjorie Ekk.
The event that brought a group of about 30 people, composed of Palm Village residents and members of Dinuba Mennonite Church to the work “party”, resulted in the preparation of 50 “kits”. Each participant had a task to complete and there were many of them. Each dress needed ribbon, bias tape, and lace cut to length, buttons sorted by color, and fabric with surged seams, plus arm-holes and pockets cut.
Once all of the parts were ready they were put into a plastic bag, marked with size 1-8, ready for Marilyn to pass to seamstresses who will sew for Portugal.
The benefits of this program are far reaching. Girls living in impoverished environments are less susceptible to predators who recognize that someone cares about them, just because they are dressed nicely. In addition, the participants had a great time preparing the dress parts as became evident through their smiling faces and the common question of when are we going to do this again.
Perhaps all of us can participate in this program if we only remember to “dream of a world where every girl has at least one new dress.”