I use a yard of fabric for small ladies or 14-16 yr old girls, waiste about 24 inches of elastic. For larger sizes I use a width and a half, waiste about 25-26 inches of elastic.
I start by sewing salvage edges together, double seaming ALL my seams. Fold down and secure a casing. Add elastic by threading it through the casing and secure it. Fold up a hem.( I zig zag the hem because it will not loosen and get pulled out.) I do make some a bit longer and some shorter, depending on my fabric available. When I have 3 yards of skirt fabric , I cut 3 lengths, cut one length in half vertically, yielding fabric for 2 larger skirts.
The pillowcase pattern is just a suggestion. Any simple pattern is fine. Cotton or cotton blend material is best for the African continent climate, but some polyester is fine, too. We also ask that you avoid buttons and zippers as they are difficult to repair.
Of course you are welcome to send them with your mission teams. Things to remember are: If you are using the name of Little Dresses for Africa, you should send them through us, so we can be consistent as to how they are sent, in our name and be responsible for them. If they go in your name, you are free to send them how your group sees best. Some things to consider are: Packing them in groups of various sizes and marking them makes it easier to pass out to large groups. Also, be ready to explain at customs as you enter the country that they are gifts for the children and not for sale. Sometimes an “official letter” from your church stating those facts are helpful so that you are not taxed at customs.
We offer relief to both girls and boys, but with our ministry, girls come first. Because of the difficult road that lies ahead, we want to give something to little girls to plant in their hearts that they are worthy. There is no male or female in the church, no Jew or Gentile. We believe by honoring these little girls, that the seed of Jesus is planted in their hearts. But, we also love the little boys, so we also collect boy’s shorts in any size, new or gently used to send with the dresses.
Yes, we do. We have sent dresses to 87 countries with 47 of them being in Africa and also in times of crisis or when asked, to Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, The Domican Republic, The Philippines, Cambodia, South Dakota and the Appalachian Mountain regions.
Yes. Go to “contact us” for the specific point near your country. They will be sent to addresses that we supply.
You are right. We do. And if you are called to help these children, you should and we encourage you to do just that. Thank you! But we are called to Africa. The areas to which we distribute do not have any way of receiving relief without people like you and me helping them. We go to the remote villages to distribute your dresses and we use it as an opportunity to encourage and teach the people there. “We’re not just sending dresses, we’re sending hope.”
No, we offer the dresses in the name of Jesus, and plant the seed of his love, but only God can bring the harvest. Everyone we come into contact with at distribution, gets a dress regardless of their religious affiliation
We go in the name of Jesus. We encourage all believers to work together to be the hands and feet of Jesus.
When we deliver the dresses, we put them right over what they are currently wearing. They do not continue to wear t-shirts underneath except in colder weather.
A 14 x 14 x 14 box costs about $140/each to ship to most parts of Africa. We can send it domestically to teams going, to pack in their bags for about $40/each. There are also other costs associated such as boxes, tape, documents, etc.
Unfortunately, space does not permit us to accept used clothing. There are many organizations that do, so we encourage you to pass your donations on to them. They will bless others! Also, we are often taxes on clothing that is not home made and has tags in them.
Little Dresses for Africa never claims to address all the needs of all the children, but by delivering little dresses to the children, we not only offer relief to those receiving the dresses, but also encouragement to their care-takers, the villages in which they live, people that hear about it and those sewing or donating supplies or dresses or money. Any time someone helps, it raises awareness of the plight of the little girls of Africa and awareness is Step One in closing the divide. We have also heard reported many times that the girls wearing a newer dress are less likely to be oppressed or abducted because it shows that someone cares about them. (And we do!)
We distribute these dresses through orphanages and churches to children who would have to choose food or clothing but could not receive both. We go to remote villages to distribute them, not where we would compete with their businesses. We have also delivered them to little girls in Sudan who were wearing absolutely nothing until they received their new dresses.
With sizes, we generally get plenty of medium sized dresses, which are the standard pillow case sizes. If you are making them out of material, we need more of the smaller, under size 5 dresses, and over size 10. Feel free to add pockets and ruffles. A small toy is fine in the pocket but not necessary at all. We always need boy’s shorts in any size.
Yes, LDFA is a non-profit 501c3. Our tax identification number is available to you. Check with your tax adviser concerning your donations. You can give on line and direct it to a specific project, such as school supplies, buckets of Hope, Bibles or shipping costs. You can also mail your check to: 21805 Woodruff Road, Rockwood, MI 48173. It is by your generous donations that this work continues.
Yes, thank you! If you could size your dresses in small, medium, large and Xlarge (specifics are on the webpage) that would be a great help. Also, if you can enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope inside the box, we will send you a postcard that you can use for your receipt if you wish. Also, please do not attach anything to the dresses with straight pins. We have to remove them before shipping. You are welcome to enclose your notes without attaching them to the dresses.