Arts, Dining & Entertainment

Sixth Local Sewing Bee Will Help ‘Dress a Girl Around the World’ Program


Courtesy dressagirlaroundtheworld
“Transforming Lives, One Stitch at a Time:”: Join Caren Helm as she hosts the 6th sewing bee for the Dress a Girl Around the World program at Castleton Community Center. Learn to craft sundresses destined for Hope 4 Women International, a non-denominational organization that has delivered over 2 million dresses to 81 countries. With 792 sundresses distributed in 2023 alone, this initiative continues to exceed expectations.

Saturday, March 16 at 10 a.m.—CASTLETON— Caren Helm of Fair Haven is hosting the 6th sewing bee for the “Dress a Girl Around the World” program at Castleton Community Center, 210 Main St., Castleton. A complimentary light lunch and beverages will be served. Registration is a must to get a lunch count. 

Helm will teach participants how to make a very simple sundress. “This is a preventative project that offers hope and dignity to young women around the world,” Helm said. “Simple, brightly colored cotton sundresses are sewn and donated to Hope 4 Women, who then distribute them.” Hope 4 Women International is a non-denominational, non-profit organization. To date, over 2 million dresses have been sent to 81 countries. The program has partnered with Partners for World Health, Rotary around the world and other such service organizations. The dresses are also intended to keep girls less vulnerable to rape and sex trafficking; every dress has a pocket with a label that indicates the girl has family and community who care. This is believed to be a deterrent to predators.

This is the sixth sewing bee Helm has hosted locally; she notes that the response to this project has exceeded her expectations. The yearly dress count has climbed steadily as the word gets out of the project’s importance. The first-year goal was 100 dresses and 467 dresses were sewn and distributed. In 2023, 792 beautiful sundresses made their way to villages around the world. “The project has a passionate life of its own,” Helm says. “People just need to know where the need is, and they are right there to volunteer.” Helm noted that a local high school has integrated it into a Home Arts class. “I think this is an important topic that young women need to know about,” Helm says. “These students have rallied around the project and have sewn beautiful dresses.” A group of Vermont “snowbirds” took kits with them to Florida and will return with dresses this spring. Local churches have gotten involved. Individuals who love to sew, all come together to ‘sew for the cause’.

 

Sewing bee participants are asked to bring a sewing machine, notions and tools. Kits with all the supplies and fabric will be available. Sewers attending will learn the specifications of making the dresses and return home to make more. Kits are available with everything the sewer needs to complete a dress.

Helm is always accepting cotton fabric and notions donations. Fabric must be at least one yard. She also is seeking extra-wide, double-fold bias tape, 1/2” or 3/4” elastic, in any color. Other ways to volunteer include working at home washing and ironing donated fabric, attending kit making workshops, assembling kits for sewers, baking cookies for the bee or making a monetary donation.

To register,  contact Helm at 802-265-2145 or carenhelm2@gmail.com.

For more information, visit dressagirlaroundtheworld.com

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