Our founder, Joanne, received her inspiration one evening in the middle of all of the stories during the nightly news. She noticed a small segment about a woman who embarked upon a mission to change the world “one dress at a time." Joanne began making simple dresses. She then partnered with the charitable organization Dress A Girl Around The World.
Monica and Lynne joined Joanne in her mission and DIH (Dressed In Hope) began meeting weekly for cutting, stitching, creating and sharing. DIH now has 40 local members and 11 "satellite seamstresses" from several states.
In July Helen Makinde from Dayspring Missions of Hope and Days for Girls came to our workshop to pick up 618 dresses and 2 sewing machines to be delivered to Malawi in Africa for their 2017 shipment. This number of dresses represented our entire inventory but we were thrilled to be able to provide them. Ms. Makinde spoke to us about the extreme poverty that exists there and the dire need for clothing and the hygiene kits that her group provides. On August 5th, Ms. Makinde’s non-profit group drove their U-Haul to Deltona where the donated items were loaded in 40 ft containers. The transit time to Malawi is 3 months at the cost of $13,000 but is offset by two other groups sharing the container.
Because Malawi is not a port city, the container goes first to either Tanzania or Mozambique and is then trucked into Malawi. Here the shipment goes through Customs, then is inventoried again and the contents are safely stored until Ms. Makinde and other representatives of the Dayspring Missions arrive in November. At that time they will sort and distribute the items to 22,000 students in the area.
These dresses are sometimes the only other clothing the girls have besides their school uniform. The change of clothing helps extend the life of their uniforms which must last the school year. And we’re told the hygiene kits are the only way female students can attend class all month long; without these sanitary products the girls must remain home.
A huge thank you to all the wonderful, dedicated, hard-working ladies from Dressed In Hope who sorted and packed the dresses, and those who constructed the hygiene kits.
We construct our dresses at the VillageWalk Town Center during our weekly workshops.
We meet every Thursday from 10 to 12. We also need volunteers who do not sew. We always have work to be done that doesn’t require sewing skills. We need pattern cutters, doll face painters, yarn hair creators and sometimes just fabric and notion organizers. Please join us!
Dressed In Hope is fortunate to have many friends who have contributed almost 400 dresses. Some are just individuals and others are groups that enjoy sewing socializing and contributing to a great cause. We have friends in St. Petersburg, Ft. Myers, Cape Coral, Avon Park, Port Orange, Merritt Island and Port St. Lucie, Florida. In addition we receive dresses from Indiana, Michigan, California Georgia and Connecticut. If you would like to know more about how you can help, please reach out to us from the “contact us” page.
If you live in the Venice, FL area and would like to sew with a new friend or be part of a new group, please contact Bev at email@example.com