Many orphaned children throughout the world living in orphanages are without very few things to call their own, if any. The clothes they wear may have been passed down from many other kids, the toys they play with aren’t new, nothing they have is theirs and theirs alone.
We often take everyday things such as these for granted, but think about those few special items near and dear to your heart – the gifts thoughtfully given that make you feel special. With nothing to call their own, these orphaned children miss out on the feelings of worth and love attached to these meaningful items.
One organization is seeking to change this: Dresses for Orphans. Founded in 2009, Dresses for Orphans’ mission is simple, to deliver a new dress or shirt, personally made, to orphans living in over 200 orphanages throughout 42 different countries.
The organization’s purpose is three-fold.
- A new dress or shirt that is made just for each child is gifted to an orphaned child, giving them something they can keep for themselves, something to call their own.
- The act of giving this thoughtful gift shows each child they are special, building a sense of being loved and cared for, reinforcing in each child that they are a worthy individual.
- Every time the child wears the outfit, he or she is reminded of Jesus’s love – that Jesus loves them and they are special in His sight.
Dresses for Orphans is supported by donations, given by individuals who back the organization’s mission. Donations pay for supplies to make the outfits. The organization is entirely made up of volunteers and there are no overhead expenses to be paid. Dresses for Orphans’ main group of volunteers is based in Mesa, AZ, with additional groups in Ohio and Minnesota.
This all-volunteer, non-profit ministry works with individuals, churches, and Christian organizations in the United States. These partners deliver the handmade outfits to orphaned children in their care, both in and out of traditional orphanages. The comments from caregivers who have received these loving garments for the children they serve are testimony enough to show just what a difference this simple gesture can make in the life of a child in need:
“Little Nora (3 years old) wore her new dress 24/7 until one of the staff made her take it off in order to launder it. As soon as it was dry, it went right back on!” Kareen D. – Zambia
“Wow . . . those outfits are not just beautiful . . . they are charming, colorful, well stitched and dazzling . . . our kids are going to fight over them!! It will be a real test to decide WHO gets these first!! I so appreciate you.” Faiz R. – India
“What you are doing makes a HUGE difference. You are exchanging rags for lovely clothes. Thank you for the work you and your volunteers are doing.” Ben S. – Swaziland
We just received the darling and beautifully hand-crafted dresses and shirts for the children. Of all the donations we have received, these are by far the highest quality!” Monica J. – Philippines
Dresses for Orphans welcomes new volunteers as well as donations of 100% cotton fabric, used to make appliques. The group meets each Wednesday morning from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. to make the outfits which travel the world, eventually clothing and providing love to an orphaned child in need.
For more information about Dresses for Orphans or to learn how you can get involved, please contact: