09 BWB Lapeer-First Little Dresses Mission

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It all started for Lapeer with an article in the Detroit News on November 1, 2008. The article
stated that after a short mission trip to Malawi, three women started a non-profit organization to
make and send dresses for girls orphaned by the Aids Epidemic. A suggestion to make the
dresses out of pillowcases started the ball rolling and “Little Dresses for Africa” was born.

Presbyterian Women’s organization at the First Presbyterian Church of Lapeer has taken on the
project for one year, possibly more. Unfortunately, the need will continue to be there. Lapeer
PW started the process by giving a visual presentation provided by the “Little Dresses”
organization. The congregation was encouraged to donate pillowcases, bias tape, elastic,
thread and decorations to enhance the dresses. Monetary contributions are also accepted to
purchase supplies as well as paying to send the dresses to the Little Dresses headquarters in
Brownstown, MI. From there, coordination with other non-profit groups providing other supplies,
help to get the dresses where they need to be.

There has already been two workdays at First Presbyterian Church in Lapeer where helpers
gathered to coordinate supplies, cut, sew and press dresses. Besides pillowcases, fabric was
donated which can be cut and made into dresses in sizes smaller than a pillowcase. Even
those who don’t sew came to participate in fellowship of a purposeful mission. By the end of
April, 90 dresses have been made and sent to Little Dresses headquarters, with more to come.
As their motto so aptly says: “We are not just sending dresses…We are sending hope”.

Lapeer PW are also happy to add that one of the local high school 8th grade “Clothing
Construction” classes used this project as their final exam. Between 30 and 40 dresses were
given to the Lapeer church to forward to Africa.

For more information about this organization and the pattern for dresses, check out their
website at Questions concerning “Little Dresses” in Lapeer’s
First Presbyterian Church should be directed to Alice Merriman at

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