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Little Dresses for Africa

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Arts & Culture, Fund Raising & Fund Distribution, Gift Distribution, Human Services

Mission: To plant in the hearts of little girls that they are worthy through the distribution of handmade little dresses, made of pillowcases by loving hands from all over the world.

Results: well over 8 million dresses and "britches for boys", a Distribution Center in Malawi, two primary schools, 10 wells, 2 school master's houses, a soccer field and a girls dormitory for 100 girls rescued from early childhood marriages. We also support projects ongoing with our short term trips twice a year since 2008.

Target demographics: clothe little children who are in need and instill self-esteem. "We're not just sending dresses, we're sending hope!"

Direct beneficiaries per year: 8 million dresses throughout the world, opened our 2nd school, and built a dormitory for 100 girls rescued from child marraiges.

Geographic areas served: distributed over 8 million dresses in 84 countries across the world, built 2 schools, 6 wells...

Programs: clothing, teaching lessons on sanitation, clean water, nutrition, building primary schools, providing clean water.

Community Stories

20 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I adore Little Dresses for Africa. The heart behind the organization and the devoted volunteers who run it is absolutely inspiring. I have a found kindred spirits in the love, laughter and joy that is shared on so many levels with LDFA. They are not only planting value in the hearts of little girls around the world, they are restoring a sense of value in the hearts of those who serve alongside them. I am immensely grateful for the work LDFA is doing and the message of hope and healing they are spreading to EVERYONE involved!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have sewn dresses, britches and personal hygiene items for LDFA. Was blessed
last August 2016 to travel with LDFA to Malawi. To see the blessings of God
delivered through this nonprofit organization was such an honor. Bringing little girls
dresses, building wells to make clean water available, building schools, and so much more.
Awesome way of sharing to bring blessing to others.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My 16 year old niece and I learned how to make these dresses last week. They are very simple yet provide so much dignity for the girls who receive them. We are making more to send. It is a great way to make a huge impact in the lives of those less fortunate.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This wonderful charity is spreading God’s love and sending hope to many, many places. The little dresses , britches and other items are lovingly hand made by amazing volunteers! Many of the clothing items are works of art . These beautiful ladies and gentlemen, are far more blessed than the children who receive them!
LDFA has built schools, dug wells, supported the efforts to abolish child marriage, and more .
I am honored to volunteer here.
God bless you !

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Little Dresses For Africa allows me to use my sewing skills to help clothe little girls and boys in underdeveloped nations. Seeing the photos of these precious children lighting up with joy when they receive a brand new article of clothing that is just for them is priceless. Anyone with basic sewing skills can make a simple dress or pair of shorts and LDFA will make sure it gets into the hands of a child in need.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

LDFA is the only nonprofit I know that helps both recipients AND donors live better lives. The amazing good they do for the children is self evident and I won't speak to it here. But they are also doing amazing things for the people who make the dresses. Take my mom. A couple of years ago she was housebound, lonely, bored, feeling unproductive, and often sad. I told her about LDFA and asked her to help me make some dresses and what a change! She's made over 300 of them now, and feels so proud and happy to do it. Her life is immeasurably enriched: 1. She is creative again, 2. She has a purpose and is making a difference in the world, 3. It uses things that might otherwise be wasted (old pillowcases, leftover ribbons & lace, & etc.) and having grown up poor, she hates waste! 4. She feeds needed, rather than a burden on society. Thank you LDFA for giving meaning and joy to my mom's life. And most importantly -- thank you for helping the children.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What an honor to sew a pretty dress for a beautiful child to let her know in a tangible way that God loves her.

2 Bonnie31

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I never "missioned' before I was introduced to Little Dresses. I don't sew but I started helping by sorting those precious dresses sewn with so much love by women all over the world. I also open these boxes...and I see more and more that this is not just a mission for those that receive the dresses but also for those that provided the dresses. The stories and notes sent with the packages, along with the care put into the details. I found myself praying over these dresses as I opened them, blessing the givers and the receivers. that was 7 years ago. I then got the chance to go to Africa to see this love first hand. The first dress I put on a little girl who did not speak my language, who was not sure of a white woman giving her something so pretty, brought me to tears - the God giving pure love all around was overwhelming! Little Dresses is a TRUE charity in all meanings of the word. They provide clean water in the form of wells, community centers, schools, hostels, britches for boys, sani pads for the girls, bibles and most of all Hope! Everything they get goes back into the organization to further this mission. Thank you

Previous Stories
7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization creates a sense of hope and security for girls that thier cultures treat like second class citizens. Not only does she provide clothing for girls and britches for boys - she has also funded the building of a school and teachers. I have worked with her for almost 2 years now and the unity of cultures/freinds and the goals of this group are outstanding. spreading the word and work of the Lord all over the world. Excellence inspires excellence and that is just what her andher organization does. They are also aligned with Buckets of Hope that provides a months worth of food for a family. Her passion for this cause is amazing. LDFA has also helped to set up woman in these countries with training and sewing machines so they can support their own families. I can not say enough about her and her organization. They are truly a blessing to this world!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became involved with this organization a little over three years ago. I was not a sewer, so I had to watch youtube to learn to make the little dresses and shorts. I have made a dress a day and several pairs of shorts in each package I mail monthly off to LDFA. Friends and family keep me supplied in fabric and thread. My grandchildren have now joined me in making dresses and shorts. I am so thankful to this organization for helping children by sending dresses and shorts all over the world.
Nancy Lewis

Previous Stories
1

Donor

Rating: 5

After suffering two small strokes , I was sitting home feeling sorry for my self. I came across a story about a woman, Miss Lillian, who was 99 years old at the time. She sewed a dress a day for LDFA and hoped to reach 1000 dresses by her 100th birthday. I thought if she could do it, I could do that. So I saved for a sewing machine and watched sewing videos on YouTube to try and remember what the strokes had robbed me of. That first dress took me hours to complete, but I did it! I proudly posted it on Facebook. My friends and family have all joined in with fabric, thread, elastic etc. to make sure I finish 30 dresses and now 30 shorts as well , a month. Just as I get low on fabric, a box of fabric always seems to arrive in the mail. Sometimes from friends I haven't seen in over 50 years. All because of the dream of one woman. Planting in the hearts of little girls, that they are worthy.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found this wonderful charity about 4 years ago, but I really should say it found me... It's a God thing...Four years ago I received my copy of Sew News in the mail. Skimming through it, I happen to come across an article for Little Dresses for Africa. "What an interesting program I thought to myself, something I could really get into."
But I had no time to think about it as I grab my grocery list. I had to get myself ready for my mission trip to Maine. "I'll look into it when I return."
So a couple of weeks go by, and I head down to the South Shore for a cookout to meet up with all the other folks headed to Maine. It's was great to see old friends and make new ones. During this time I notice a child with a particular type of dress on. Curious I ask her grandmother, who is joining us this year, is that..? "Yes," she says," There is a woman I know who makes them..isn't it cute, it's a pillowcase dress."
I am stunned. "Okay, You have my full attention now."I whispered to myself, as I finally listened to that voice inside that's been haunting me since I skimmed that article.
Eager to begin, I call my mother the following day, asking if she would like to help. After I tell her my story, I am greeted with silence, a minute ticks by(so it seemed)... then a whisper, "Oh Julie, this is an answer to a prayer!"
" Dear God, years and years of fabric and such, and what am I to do with it all." was a prayer my mother sent up each day, waiting for an answer.
Here it was…. And so it began..
I put an ad in our local paper for pillowcases, notions and sewers, the response was overwhelming, I was flooded with donations, which continues to this day.
Four years later we now have a group of ladies who get together twice a month at my church to sew, laugh and ohh and ahh at each dress that is sewn. At the end of the day, each woman takes home supplies and continue sewing... and then we start again..

Julie Kesterson
.

Rosemary V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2010, I sent up a prayer to St Therese ( who loved the missions) and asked her to use MY hands from MY HOME To help in anyway she chose. THE VERY NEXT DAY, I received my very first catalog called Nancy's notions in the mail. When I opened up the catalog, an insert fell out, I picked it up and it was a picture of a poor little girl asking would you please take an hour and sew for me? Immediately I knew this was the ministry Saint Therese was giving me. I bought a sewing machine, a serger, and taught myself to sew. I started with pillowcase dresses then graduated to fabrics, and now I even design my own little dresses sending them to little dresses for Africa , and some to with real hope for Haiti and two of my doctors go on yearly mission trips to Third World countries and bring at least 100 dresses / boys shorts every time . I even met a stewardess on a Delta flight that was going on a mission trip to Mexico visiting orphanages she ended up taking 100 dresses as well and shorts . I can truly see how God has blessed me to help HIS precious little ones . I have taught students who need community service hours to sew little dresses, and drawstring totes, ( for LDFA) and Yearly, I teach seniors in high school ( for their senior projects) to sew little dresses. So far I have sewn and sent over 4,000. And I am not stopping! I love what Rachel O Neil began.. a mission of Love and Service! God Bless You Racehel!

1 damron101

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful group of men and women who truly do gods work. I love volunteering with Little Dresses for Africa and everyone is very warm and inviting. My first day helping out I already felt like family.

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with this organization since October 2015 and I love working with all the volunteers packing and sorting gowns. Everyone is so wonderful and welcoming I look forward to volunteering twice a month. I also sew dresses and sanity pads for the girls and would highly recommend this organization to anyone looking to sew or volunteer there time.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I enjoyed making dresses for young children in developing countries. I also enjoyed being a volunteer for Little Dresses for Africa. As a volunteer located in Honolulu, Hawaii, I needed to email Rachel who is based in Michigan. Rachel was consistently responsive through email. I had an opportunity to appear on the KITV local news to talk about Little Dresses for Africa. The reporter reached out to Rachel to interview her. Fortunately part of Rachel's interview was included with my local news story about Little Dresses for Africa. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmIucK1DVdQ

I'm glad that this non profit shines a light on global poverty. As Americans, we rarely see the extreme poverty that is happening all over the world. US media is often "America centric" and as a result, many people have no idea what is happening in other parts of the world. I believe it is important to understand what is happening globally so that we can collectively address these issues. What is happening thousands of miles away has the potential to negatively or positively affect my life here in the US. Therefore, I wish to be engaged, knowledgeable and active in being part of the "solution."

2 Mary439

Volunteer

Rating: 5

About three years ago I walked into my local yardage store and saw a poster about, "little Dresses for Africa!" It asked if one was inclined to take a packet and sew it up and return it to the store. All in all I did about maybe 25 dresses.

It was there I met Susan Chandler, who coordinates for Dress a girl around the world. I've been sewing with her and the girls for about three years now. We have send dresses all over the world. In effect, doing what Little Dresses does for the poor girls and boys (shorts) of the world!

1 Dawn143

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Little Dresses for Africa has given me an amazing opportunity to reach out, hands-on, to children who need to feel valued and loved. The dresses don't last forever, but hopefully the memory of love and compassion will stay with a child for a lifetime. I went from a situation with no supplies, not even a sewing machine or scrap of fabric, to being blessed with many stacks of fabric, and multiple machines. God has helped me to do a very good work for others!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Found out about littledressesforafrica.org in my Guideposts magazine. Their site was very informative to get me started sewing dresses for a good cause. Shipping to them was easy and a nice note was sent after they received my items. Open communication thru a nice website!

6 Betty43

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I live in Hawaii sew dresses for children in 3rd world countries our objective is to provide clothing to children to deter sex traffickers from indicting children. If a child looks clean and well taken care of they are less likely to be taken. Every child deserves to wear a clean dress with dignity and pride. I have made 20, 077 dresses, I been sewing the dresses since May 2010. Little dresses for Africa has helped me get dresses to the children, without their help not as many children could be helped. We are reaching the most needed areas of the world.