Let’s Help Build a Sewing School in Haiti

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Several weeks ago I received a message from Pastor Cadet of the sewing school in Beudet, Haiti. This is the school where mom and I taught when we were in Haiti last November. (Actually we spent most of the week teaching on the Mission to Haiti campus because the facilities there are much better.)

The school is currently housed on a concrete slab with tarps for a roof and sheets for walls. The one day we spent at the school under the tarps with the students was a good, but exhausting and eye-opening day.

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Teaching on the Mission to Haiti Campus

 

It was pretty amazing to see what they are able to do with such a primitive work space, but how awesome would it be for them to have a solid building with real walls and a roof?

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Teaching at the sewing school

 

Pastor Cadet laid out a construction plan for me and has asked for our help. We are excited to participate in this construction project and already have $850 designated toward it.

With our $850 added to the $500 Pastor Cadet has already saved, they are only short of their construction goal by $480.

If you would like to donate to the construction of the Beudet Sewing School, we’d love to have your contribution. Just write your check to 500 Dresses with Beudet Sewing School in the memo and send it to 500 Dresses, c/o Jan Nelson, 680 1st St. NE, Britt, IA 50423.

Let’s see if we can build a school in Haiti!

Below is the breakdown of the construction project costs. (The cost noted in both Haitian and US currency.)

Stage 1: foundation

Cement—————————1200

Iron bar—————————2000       5800 $HT or 485 USD

Natural building stone ——–1300

Coarse Sand———————–1300

Stage 2-Erection or Putting up

Coarse sand————-1100

Gravel———————-500            4800 $HT or 420 USD

Iron bar——————-2000

Cement——————-1200

Stage 3-Roof

Woods————–2100                5100 $ HT or 425 USD

Sheet metal——–3000

Workforce————————————–500 USD

Total: 485 + 420 + 425 +500 = 1 830 USD

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Pastor and Madame Cadet with their children. Madame Cadet teaches at the sewing school.

Vocational Sewing School Graduation

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You donated graduation gowns to us earlier this year, and they have been put to good use at the vocational sewing school in Beudet, Haiti.

We recently received photos of some of the students wearing the gowns we sent. Thirty students graduated from the school and went on to take the state exams. I don’t fully understand how the state exams work, but I believe when you pass the exams your chance of finding employment improves.

Pastor Cadet also mentioned that the students are now able to sew school uniforms for family members which saves families money.

God is good, and it’s fun to watch the ways he uses 500 Dresses.

 

500 Dresses Change of Address

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Because I (Kim) move more than the average person, mom and I have decided 500 Dresses would run more smoothly if donations were shipped to her instead of me. Corey and I just completed our 10th move in 17 years of marriage. I’m not sure if that is impressive or insane, but whatever it is, it’s my life🙂

From now on, our shipping address will be 500 Dresses, c/o Jan Nelson, 680 1st St. NE, Britt, Iowa 50423.

My Life Since Cancer

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Me and My Man🙂

It’s been about six months since my cancer diagnosis, and a few of you have sent kind messages telling me that you are thinking of me and praying for me. I thought I’d take a few hundred words to update you on my health status.

I’m anxiously awaiting my final reconstruction surgery next week which, aside from hormone therapy and regular check-ups with my oncologist, will mark the end of my breast cancer madness. Hallelujah!

I’m doing great. I really am. Aside from the crazy discomfort of these awful reconstruction expanders in my chest, I feel normal. I feel healthy. I feel like Kim.

If you are curious about expanders, I recommend you google it. But I suggest reading articles written by women who have gone through it instead of articles written by surgeons. Doctors have this thing for substituting the word discomfort for excruciating.  They seriously need to work on their vocab.

If you are curious if I still trust in God, absolutely. He is good. Always. And he has blessed me in amazing ways over the past few months.

I could list dozens of things he has done to show me he loves me lots, but I’ll just share one example to give you an idea.

John Piper is one of my favorite Bible teachers, and his words have reached out and grabbed me several times in my adult life. But something he said in a video I watched early on during this cancer year sunk the roots of my faith in Jesus deep down into the dirt.

Last month I posted An Open Thank You Letter to John Piper  on my blog. And guess what? He responded to that post.  How awesome is that? In February, God used John Piper in a youtube video to reach into my heart, and in June he used him once again to remind me that I am loved, and I am cared for.

Nowhere in the 66 books of the Bible did God promise that I wouldn’t get cancer. He did, however, promise that he would never leave me. And he reminds me of his presence over and over in the most lovely ways.

Dresses for Grenada and Peru

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I’m pretty pathetic about keeping everyone up-to-date on our dress shipments these days, but mom has been doing a lot of sewing and sending.

The photo above is of some dresses that went to Grenada earlier this year (late spring I think.)

Mom is also sending close to 100 dresses and shorts to Peru later this summer with my aunt who is traveling there on a mission trip.

As always, we appreciate your dress donations, and love to have dresses on hand. We sometimes get contacted by people who want to take our dresses overseas with them, and we don’t always have a lot of notice to get a shipment ready.

A couple reminders if you are thinking of sending dresses.

  1. Make sure the fabric is not too sheer. If we can see through the fabric we can’t send it.
  2. We accept all sizes, but tend to get a lot more little ones than big ones. We’d love to receive some size 14-16 or even women’s small dresses for the older girls in the orphanages.
  3. You can you any modest sundress pattern you choose.
  4. We’d love some dresses with short-sleeves as we can’t ship sleeveless dresses to India for modesty reasons.

Graduation Gowns On Their Way to Haiti

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Mom shipped 27 graduation gowns to Haiti. That’s just 3 short of our goal, which is not bad at all! Thank you to everyone who donated. They will be used by the graduating class of the vocational sewing school where Mom and I taught when we were in Haiti last year.

Two people also donated a total of $37 dollars toward shipping having no idea how much that cost would be. The cost to ship the box was $36.12.  Just about perfect🙂

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.  Philippians 4:19

Our Dresses Made it to India

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We received a message from the missionary who took some of our dresses to India. They made it and are ready to be distributed. Here’s the email we received.

The clothes have reached India. Thank you very much. They are lovely!

I am working on getting them to the orphanages. It may take us a month or two to have someone go there or have the field leader visit Delhi, where the clothes are right now.

Again, appreciate your heart and the hard work.

Thanks again to all of you who help make it possible to send dresses and supplies around the world!

Easy Short Sleeve Dress and T-shirt Dress Tutorials

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Adorable girls from an Indian orphanage wearing our dresses.

We would love to have some sleeved dresses (size 10 and up is best) for our inventory, and I found some simple tutorials to get you started if you are interested in serving 500 Dresses in this way.

All of the dresses that we ship to India must have sleeves, and we don’t often have a lot of notice before a shipment is to go out. We send our dresses to India via missionary luggage, so we don’t plan shipment dates. The more of you who donate sleeved dresses, the easier it will be for us to fill a suitcase when we are given an opportunity to ship to India.

Thanks for considering helping us out by trying out one of these dress styles!

Twirly Tshirt dress tutorial

Twirly T-Shirt Dress Tutorial (From craftycupboard.net)

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T-Shirt Dress Tutorial (from jackandkate.com)

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How to Make a T-shirt Dress (from thehappyhousewife.com)

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Short Sleeve Peasant Dress Tutorial (from sewlikemymom.com)

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Easy Shift Dress DIY Tutorial (from sewpetitegal.blogspot.com)