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Senior Living Residents Use Their Time During the Pandemic to Sew Dresses for Girls in Africa

About a year ago, Dawn George uncovered a long-forgotten piece of paper as she unpacked after moving to an apartment at Ohio Living Westminster-Thurber in Columbus. Still fond of the idea, she set the paper – a pattern for a pillowcase dress – aside for when she had the time.

This summer, time was abundant.

Today, Dawn and 12 of her neighbors at Ohio Living Westminster-Thurber showcased their charitable work – 76 dresses and more than 100 washable sanitary pads for the charity Little Dresses for Africa.

According to the organization’s website, “These dresses go as little ambassadors to plant in the hearts of little girls that they are worthy. As relationships are built, projects are completed through clean water, education and community.”

“Even though we are somewhat confined because of the pandemic, I knew I could still be of service and answer a need,” George said. “I put out a message in our resident newsletter inviting others to participate with me. Twelve people showed up to the introductory meeting!”

After that meeting on July 7 the twelve went to work, buying fabric and sewing in their spare time. According to George, momentum is still going strong.

“Everyone is enjoying it! We’re in our apartments most of the time, and this has become a positive thing for people to do on their own. It provides a creative outlet. We’re ready to send our first shipment, and people are still offering to make the dresses. Now that we’ve displayed them on campus and shared information about the cause, new people are getting involved. We’ll continue as long as there’s interest.”

The dresses, all sewn by hand or machine, show a broad range of skill and creativity. Some have ruffles, buttons, bows, pockets, and rickrack.

George sums up this charitable work with humor: “We’re active, even though we’re older,” she said.