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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

11 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!

Donor

Rating: 5

I heard about this organization off of a sewing blog last year. I recently had gotten back into sewing and also was planning a 2-week mission trip to Malawi, Africa. The directions looked super easy and the dresses I saw on the website looked adorable. I started sewing, started going to thrift stores for more pillow cases and people started donating items (like cases and buttons and ribbon) to the cause. I personally made and hand-delivered 150 dresses last year and another 100 that I made and took this year and want to thank the LDFA website for the idea, the directions and all the stories about what they’re doing throughout the year. I made sure that each dress I made had a unique embellishment on it (like buttons or bows or flowers) that will eventually fall off but will give that little girl their own “treasure”. The kids where I go don’t have toys and “treasures”. I am planning on going back to Malawi next spring or summer and will be staying for 12-15 months working at an orphanage and special needs school. One of the things I want to do while I’m there is teach sewing to the Women and girls. I love seeing what Rachel and her team are doing to bring hope and encouragement to the people all over Africa! She has such a great organization with so many volunteers from all over the world.

Marcia Elena Sehn da F.

Donor

Rating: 5

Hello, my name is Marcia and I'm from Brazil. I'm part of Little Dresses From Africa since 2015. Back then I didn't know how to sew but when I learn how to do it, it brought me so much joy. In December I sent those first dresses and to my joy and surprise, I received photos of children wearing them. In 2016 my relatives and friends helped me with fabrics and I was able to sewn even more dresses and shorts, which were sent in December. Nowadays I've got more than 100 pieces sewn which I intend to send in December to help to bring happiness to the children! I'm really grateful and proud of being part of this beautiful project that helps to spread love to the world!
P.S: please forgive me if there are any writing mistakes :)

Pat T.1

Donor

Rating: 5

My best friend, Gwen, was an OR nurse who loved to sew. Her passion was making Little Dresses for Africa. Gwen suddenly passed away in January of 2015, my mission was to honor her by making the dresses.
PQ

Joan E.2

Donor

Rating: 5

I fully support Little Dresses for Africa. Having been to Africa twice, it is so apparent to me that these wonderful people need assistance. The poverty is widespread and so many are in need of so much. Monthly, I make santi-panties for the maturing girls. The girls do not have feminine hygiene products available to them (very expensive) and unfortunately studies have shown that when they start their periods, many quit school. By having washable santi-panties, they are able to continue their education with dignity and self-confidence. A wonderful organization!

Donor

Rating: 5

Loved being able to make good use of my stash of fabric and share God’s love for these little beauties. The LDFA staff work so very diligently to spread the Word and bless the recipients of the little dresses and britches with the love sent around the world, stitch by stitch.

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

Donor

Rating: 5

I always told myself that when I retired I would find worthy causes to sew for. LDFA fits the bill perfectly for me. I can sew at my own pace, and I am not limited to just pillowcase dresses. I like sewing simple dresses from a variety of independent pattern makers. I'm supporting little girls AND small business at the same time, plus using my considerable "stash." It's a win-win-win for me! And I also want to mention that Rachel has consistently been available via e-mail whenever I've had questions; a rare trait.

3 Becky Pryor S.

Donor

Rating: 5

I became involved with "Little Dresses For Africa" at the encouragement of a friend. Trust me when I say that I am not an accomplished sewer, but I have sewed over 60 pillowcase dresses for little girl's who have never had a new dress. This organization makes it very easy to join in, by giving you simple instructions via the internet and a place to send your finished product. The materials needed to begin are quite affordable and once others know you are sewing for this organization, they willingly donate pillowcases, trims, and sewing notions. I cannot physically serve in a mission field due to physical limitations, so this is a great way to use my gifts to benefit others. The pictures of the smiles of the children's faces as they try on their dresses, are all the thanks and encouragement I need to continue on.

Betty57

Donor

Rating: 5

I love Little Dresses for Africa! I began sewing and donating the dresses to your organization approximately 8 years ago. Your organization has influenced our local missionaries to also organize, collect and distribute little dresses. I have sewed literally thousands of little dresses and am now leading a sewing group of ladies at our church. Your influence reaches far beyond your own organization, telling young girls they are worthy and they are loved! Thank you !

3

Donor

Rating: 5

Ron and I decided our "Journey 2015" was to make 2,015 dresses for LDFA. We made our goal.
Thanks to all your volunteers. Rachel and Michael, you are amazing people. The lives you touch are too many to count. We have received pictures of some little girls with BIG smiles wearing some of our dresses. Our lives have been enriched because of all of you. We will continue to clothe the naked in Jesus name.
Ron & Bobbi Thomson

3

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been sewing little dresses for missionaries for my church ONLY because I saw Little Dresses For Africa on the news. The organization is wonderful! They send more than dresses they send hope and life, and love.

Review from Guidestar