Lately, I’ve become involved with this great organization called Dress A Girl Around The World. The concept is pretty simple: give an impoverished little girl a pretty homemade dress and help restore her dignity. I love it. I whipped up 9 dresses in less than 2 weeks. I’m hosting a small party to make some more this weekend, and plan to make at least a dozen more for my friend, Rebecca Bailey, to take with her to Bercy, Haiti around March. Obviously, this is a cause near and dear to my heart.
The practical side of me, however, is conflicted. Giving a girl a dress doesn’t automatically fix the societal and economic problems that cause her poverty and lack of dignity in the first place. So is this something I should really be investing so much time, energy, and even money in? Shouldn’t I be addressing the root of the problems for a long-term solution?
The answer is complicated. I’m going to continue whipping out pretty dresses, and this is why: making something with my own hands makes me feel more connected to a person and her country than throwing money at a problem ever could. Sewing 9 dresses for Haiti makes me care more. I figure, if it gets me to care more, it will get other people to care more, too. It is like a gateway drug. You get a buzz from some good-deed-doing, and want more and more. You turn from lighter (but still worthy) causes and you start craving the harder stuff, because the rush you get is just that good.
I’m going to keep on making the little dresses that make girls feel special (because that is a soul need that gets overlooked in the face of physical needs, like food and water), and I’m going to push forward and challenge myself to some more good-deed-doing. I want to help supply a sewing school, probably in Haiti. That way, I am helping others become self-sufficient, more economically stable, and creative all in one. I know I have a past of being flighty and flaky, but this is gonna happen. I am not sure how. I do know I want it to become the local’s baby, not some great white hope’s baby. In fact, I want as little to do with it as possible, aside from raising funds and awareness.
That is it for now. Just wanted to keep folks posted and see what happens. There are already some things in progress and it will be exciting to see what develops.