It all began in a regular Old Orchard Beach Corps Sunday morning worship service, but one that also included a social justice presentation in observance of The Salvation Army annual Day of Prayer for Victims of Human Trafficking. The heart of Salvationist Christine Stickland was stirred. Herself the mother of young adult daughters, what could she do?
A seed of unrest and discomfort was planted.
Just days later in a department store, looking for fabric, Christine engaged in conversation with fellow shoppers, noticeably buying bolts and bolts of fabric. Unknown at the time they were also members of Dress A Girl Around The World. Christine, a seamstress also renown for her ‘can-do’ spirit, saw a way forward.
A seed of purpose and hope was germinating.
Dress A Girl Around The World is a respected international non-profit charity that seeks to provide dresses to vulnerable girls under the simple premise that the clothing itself communicates love, respect and safety, a sign that a girl is protected and cared. It is a well-attested fact that young girls separated from the security of family and a loving home are much more likely to suffer abuse and exploitation. ‘We want girls to know that they are worthy of respect, and that they are loved by God,’ states the home webpage.
Within weeks a team of ladies from the Old Orchard Beach Corps made 36 dresses, hosted a launching event, contacted Salvation Army international personnel for hand-to-hand shipping in Costa Rica and Uruguay and led in a Mother’s Day time of prayer and dedication.
A seed of compassion and action was sown.
The photographs tell the rest of the story, with handmade dresses beautifying the walls of the corps sanctuary and placed on the altar as a symbol of prayer and spiritual force.
Can you sew? Or provide fabric and other supplies? Do you have a heart that cries for justice? Does the scourge of gender based violence and the plight of young girls move you to action? Then your Salvationism and Dress A Girl Around The World might be the perfect fit.
Fields of dignity and protection will be reaped.