NEWBERRY — Hope is being created in Newberry for some young girls in Africa.
A group of senior ladies who volunteer time to the Newberry County Council on Aging have decided to dedicate time and energy to making pillowcase dresses to African girls in orphanages, churches or other areas in which the girls have to choose between food and clothes many times.
Claudette Lester said that she discovered the project in an RSVP of the Midlands newsletter which is given to the senior centers across the state.
Lester and some other ladies decided that they were going to do this project.
Reba Lester says, “In Africa, girls are not recognized for anything. We wanted to make them feel wanted.”
Reba Lester adds, “Claudette drew the pattern and showed us how to do it.”
The ladies gather at the Newberry senior center monthly, but Claudette Lester and another lady, Henrietta Shealy, have made dresses at home as well.
So far, the ladies have already sent off 33 dresses, plus they have more to finish making and send off.
The dresses are made from pillowcases and the ladies have really run with this project by adding special touches such as pockets, trimming and ribbon to make the dresses more unique.
They also make different sizes which run from two to 11.
“We announced it to the senior center,” said Claudette Lester, “People donated pillowcases, fabrics.”
Claudette Lester adds, “We wanted to do it at the senior center so that the seniors could help out or donate to get involved. We’re right here.”
Claudette Lester says that, “donations from people who have donated materials and cases for the dresses,” have really poured in.
Not only have the ladies received pillow case and fabric donations, they have also scoured for cases, fabric, trimming.
As for adding unique touches to the dresses, Claudette Lester says, “We could have put a plain binding but it adds a bit of color.”
It also gives the girls’ outfits a special touch.
The ladies just want to help those less fortunate, “We want to help other girls. It gives them a positive worth; like they are worth something.”
In fact, the ladies have done projects in the past which include making bulletin bead necklaces which are necklaces made out of church bulletins, making outfits for bears for Christmas at the Salvation Army, Easter outfits for bunnies and they also are thinking about making pants for young boys in Africa.
The ladies do not just get together at the senior center monthly either; they hang out plenty outside the center fellow shipping at each others homes, going out or playing a rousing game of cards.
The options are endless for these ladies.
“People think we’re senior citizens, but we can do for ourselves and others too,” said Reba Lester, “We are still independent people.”
The Little Dresses for Africa project is open to people who wish to donate pillow cases, fabrics or anything to help out the cause.
The website for the project is www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog. People may also contact the office at 252-7734.
Hope is a needle and thread away for many African girls.