Dresses made from pillowcases are ready to be sent to Haiti. The St. Peter’s UMC’s UMW group made the dresses. (photo by Laura Kerley)
By Laura Kerley, special contributor
The fellowship hall of St. Peter's United Methodist Church in Topeka was abuzz with activity Jan. 18, where the local United Methodist Women's unit was busy making pillowcase dresses for little girls in Haiti.
With four sewing machines whirring and others cutting and measuring, in about two hours, the women completed at least eight adorable dresses with a number of others started. Some of the women took the partially completed ones home to finish, bringing the total number of finished dresses to 40.
The dresses will be sent to Haiti in mid-March.
The project was born when the executive committee of the local UMW met last year to plan meetings, programs and missions for the unit for 2012. The Social Action representative, Sandy Poston, had read about the idea in one of the United Methodist Church publications. The project sounded worthwhile and was scheduled as the mission activity for the January meeting.
In the meantime, UMW president Debra Forman began to research the project. First, she checked YouTube and was able to watch a video on how to make them. Then, she searched for written instructions and found a good reference from the website www.littledressesforafrica.com.
The question then presented to the local UMW unit was whether to send them to Africa or Haiti, since there is a need in both locations.
Because of the covenant relationship the Kansas East Conference already has with Haiti, the choice seemed clear. The dresses will be sent by way of the Little Dresses for Haiti project, which has a website at www.littledressesforhaiti.com.
This project was easy, fun and great fellowship for the unit, and the group is planning to do it again.
But the most wonderful thing about a project like this is that members of the unit are not just collecting money to send somewhere. They are doing something tangible that not only meets a need but also provides something new and fun for Haiti girls.
Laura Kerley is a member of St. Peter’s UMC in Topeka.