Little Dresses for Africa was founded by Rachel O’Neill in 2008 and is a registered non-profit 501c3 Christian organization. Our mission is to provide relief to children throughout the Continent of Africa and beyond. Volunteers from all 50 US States, as well as Australia, Canada, the UK, and Singapore, join together to make little dresses out of pillow cases or other simple patterns. Some sew. Some donate. Some go to Africa, and some send others. Little Dresses for Africa makes all the arrangements, through misions teams, mailing directly to verified communities and we take them ourselves with a team at least once a year. With your help, we get the dresses (and britches for boys!) to the children, and distribute them through orphanages, churches, and schools. Together, we can make a difference.
How We Make a Difference
Our mission is to provide relief to children of Africa, by distributing dresses to little girls, primarily in African villages, but also other countries in crisis. Because of the widespread AIDS pandemic, little girls are often left to be the primary care givers of their young siblings. It is our hope that in delivering dresses to these young girls, that a seed will be planted in their hearts, in the name of Jesus, that they are worthy. We plant the seeds; God sends the harvest.
It’s more than just a dress! Although clothing is needed, these little dresses also give us an opportunity to hold Bible clasess, children’s camps and informal teaching sessions to increase their knowledge in nutrition, clean water, and sanitation and to promote good health and family skills knowledge. We also visit many patients who are suffering from AIDS, and their care-givers, to offer encouragement and hope. We identify needs and attempt to meet them, with your help.
While in Malawi on a short term mission trip, a small group of women saw the tattered dresses on these precious children and committed at that moment to do what they could to change things for the little girls in the villages of Ntcheu. While searching for simple patterns, someone suggested that a simple pillowcase pattern. With that suggestion, the excuses were gone!
Why Pillowcases? They are readily available and because the hem is already in the material, even a novice seamstress can be involved in this worthwhile project. The pillowcase pattern has been around since the Pioneer days. They are simple, come in all sizes, materials and colors. This idea was an instant hit and the word spread quickly around the country as people joined together in something so simple that would make such a huge difference in the life of a little girl.
As we distribute the thousands of little dresses and britches for boys, we are able to identify opportunities to finance special projects while in Africa, such as “Buckets of Hope”. These brightly colored buckets contain such things as salt, sugar, flour, oil and a mosquito net. We also include a Bible in their language. These buckets are delivered personally by our team to the widows and the sick as well as the child-headed families. Our home base in Malawi where with the help of the community, we have built a primary school. It’s a cooperative effort and has brought a sense of pride and accomplishment both here and across the ocean. We will add a soccer field in 2014 and a dress distribution center near town so we can continue to expand our distribution.
Who Is Making the Difference?
Simply stated… you are! We believe that most people want to help others less fortunate than themselves. They just need to know how! This is a project that links communities by allowing people the opportunity to get involved at whatever level works for them. Everyone can participate! You can donate pillowcases or material, sewing supplies, elastic or double bias tape. You can send small and medium size vacuum pack bags for easy distribution. You can donate financially to the sewing projects, to short term mission trips where these items are distributed, or to your favorite project. And of course, we are always in need of financial doantions to ship the thousands of dresses all over the world. You can independently or form a group to sew. If you are in the Michigan area, join us to sort, size and pack the resses on the 2nd and 4th Thursday nights of the month. There is something for everyone. Together we all can make a difference! Please contact us for more information.
Little Dresses for Africa
A non-profit organization providing relief to the children of Africa
We’re not just sending dresses, we’re sending HOPE!
24614 Curtis Dr.
Brownstown, MI 48134
Video link to see LDFA children and projects: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hzIggJhWDS8&feature=player_embedded