Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!

Can you believe that it’s already the holidays?  What a year this has been!  I’m amazed at the blessings that we continue to share through Little Dresses for Africa.  We have, through fund raising, monthly commitments, and generous partnerships, been able to send thousands and thousands of dresses.  Our total sent from our location is well over 4 million to 81 countries. (Map of Impact)  Your dresses cover the world!  I am humbled!  We have collection and distribution points in other countries now, Brazil, The Netherlands, Australia, Scotland, England, Italy, France and we just added Poland.  We are fast becoming a group that is known for helping the most vulnerable, with no strings attached.  I am so thankful to be part of such an amazing group of volunteers!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart for joining us in this effort both with your contributions and your money that supports this effort.  Just so we don’t get too full of ourselves, please know that we haven’t even scratched the surface of the need.  We are just getting started solemn vow is to continue as long as I am able and structure our organization in such a way that it will continue for years.  Praise the Lord for this opportunity!

In 2015, we have built a second primary school, a second school master’s house, 4 more toilets, sent 2 more containers, and drilled two more wells.  We have worked closely with our friends in Malawi to support other endeavors through the organizations already in place there, such as Ministry of Hope’s medical clinics and the Crisis Nursery and we continue to supply beautiful, new and gently worn wedding dresses to MIDA, which is run by a local Malawian woman and friend.  These rentals supply an income for her and offers women here in the US, to donate their dresses to a great cause that continues the joy instead of letting the dresses hang, unused, in their closets and turn yellow.  What a great opportunity to share the love!  We are always taking dresses so send them if you are interesting in helping in this way.

We have experienced tremendous exposure and added incredible volunteers through the program run by Root, INC on behalf of the Hampton Inns.  All 2200 locations were encouraged to join the community effort to sew dresses and send them all in a container that they financed, left last Wednesday for our Distribution Center.  We are so grateful for companies like this that support our efforts and help spread the word.  Another fantastic company that made a tremendous impact is BNY Mellon Bank, who encouraged their locations to sew dresses.  Their company has a very generous program that donated cash per volunteer hour documented.  Their dresses are beautiful and are already on their way to Africa in the container that left in August.  Companies like these two are amazing help to us and to the children of Africa.  Another great way to help during this season is to be sure to order under Amazon Smile if you are shopping on Amazon and select Little Dresses as your charity. It’s great to see how it all adds up.

I received an update from Ms Lillian, our 100 year old sewing celebrity, who also brought us many new volunteers.  She is doing well and still sewing every day.  Her number of sewn dresses continues to grow.  Nancy Zieman graciously wrote up the pattern designed with the sleeves that Ms Lillian uses and it is now available on this website under patterns.  Both styles are adorable so sew whichever one you prefer.  We also have posted directions for the sani-panti’s pattern which we are always in dire need of.

Don’t forget to mark your calendars for THE BIG DINNER.  Next year, 2016, November 12, 2016. 11.12.16.  Details to come, but we are encouraging each of you  and your churches or sewing groups, communities, Scouts, Palates Classes, Yoga groups…. what else can I think of?  We want you ALL to plan on hosting a dinner the same night, 11.12.16, to raise money on behalf of LDFA to transform 12 Villages in a single night.  Mark the night and stay tuned.  Please let me know if you will agree to hosting a group.  Feel free to go ahead and register now if you like.  Thanks in advance.  We already have 10 groups committed and I want EVERY state and sewing group!  Poland and Italy are the first in!

Thank you so much for blessing so many.  Thank you for partnering with me.  Thank you for sharing the love.  I’m working with our kids at church for a Christmas song. We are singing the classic, “Let There Be Peace On Earth”.  During this troubling time in the world, I feel it is especially fitting.  The words, “…and let it begin with me.”  The same thing applies when we want to see a difference in the world.  It has to begin with each of us.  I want to say thank you to each of you for doing just that.  Each one of you has made a wonderful difference to a child and I am so thankful.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Love, Rachel

M o r e   i n f o