Last Chance to Donate Dresses for Haiti Shipment


Mom and I plan to send a shipment of dresses to Haiti in 2 weeks. We are still taking donations. If you have any formal dresses, sundresses or wedding gowns you’d like to add to our box, let me know.

Donations can be shipped to Jan Nelson, 680 1st St. NE, Britt, IA 50124.

If you are local to Huxley, you can drop them off at my house – 804 Timberlane.



Donate Your Wedding Gowns and Formal Dresses to Haiti

Renting wedding gowns to brides for their big day provides income for Mdm. Bennison in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. In addition to renting out wedding dresses, she also sells formal dresses.


Mdm. Bennison

We’ve given dresses to her a number of times, but it’s been a while so we decided it’s time for another shipment to expand her inventory.

Here’s what we’re looking for.

Formal Gowns

  • They must be current. No 1980s stuff that you find in the back of your closet. Life in Haiti might be a lot different that life in the US, but Haitian women have access to TV and Internet and they know what’s in and what isn’t. If you think it’s too out of style to wear, they probably will too.
  • We’d love a set of bridesmaid dresses if anyone has multiples of the same dress.

Wedding Gowns

  • Specifically larger sized wedding gowns (size 14+). Though we’ll take smaller ones if they are current.

We’ll be accepting donations throughout the month of February. Thanks for considering helping us out in this way.


Photo from the wedding of a wonderful guy (my interpreter for the week) that mom and I attended while in Haiti in 2015.

Contact us at with any questions.

Haitian Girls with New Dresses

My friend Jessica and her daughter Anna went to Haiti this fall and took a suitcase filled with our dresses.

This was her first trip to Haiti, and as she spoke to Corey and me about her experiences on the trip, we had to keep the Kleenex handy. God is so good, and he just does such amazing things when we say “Okay, I’ll go where you are asking me to go and do what you are asking me to do.”

Jessica took a bunch of photos and I’m sharing some of them with you here today.┬á They laid out the dresses in a classroom and let girls take turns coming in to try them on and choose one. It was the first time these girls have “shopped” for clothes.

Mom and I are thankful to be a part of the things God is doing with these dresses. And we are thankful to those who have supported this ministry.


A Quick Update


Most of these dresses were donated by Pamela DeCuir from Florida. Thanks Pamela!

It’s been a while so I thought I should send a quick update to let you know what’s going on at 500 Dresses.

  • This past summer we sent 2 boxes of dresses and shorts and 2 sewing machines to Togo, West Africa
  • This fall we had the opportunity to send a suitcase filled with dresses to Haiti with a friend who went there on a mission trip.
  • This fall we also sent 60 dresses and some Fabric with a missionary headed to Zambia.
  • We are waiting on an update on the construction of the sewing school in Beudet, Haiti. Construction in Haiti doesn’t move quite as quickly as construction in the US. ­čÖé When we have info on that I’ll pass it along.

As always, thank you for supporting this ministry.


Fabric We Sent to Haiti Turned Into Dresses



Thought I’d post a couple photos of the fabric we’ve shipped Haiti. A company in New York, called Fabric Traditions, donated the strapless sundress fabric you see in the above photos.

The sundress on the right of the top photo is actually a dress that was made in the class mom and I taught in Haiti in 2015.

Pretty cool to see ­čÖé

Sewing School Graduation


Pastor Cadet sent several photos of this year’s sewing school graduating class. With the skills these young people have learned, employment opportunities will be opened up to them.

Schools in Haiti require their students to wear uniforms. These girls and guys now have the skills to make and sell school uniforms.

Factory employment may also be a possibility as there are factories in Haiti that require sewing skills.

Enjoy the photos, and thank you for your interest in and support of this vocational school in Beudet, Haiti.



And the Winner Is…


…Rachel Akslen! Yesterday Owen drew Rachel’s name out of a bowl, and I will be shipping the quilt up to her in Minneapolis. Congrats Rach!

Thank you so much to everyone to took part in our fundraising efforts during the last month. You have helped us raise $1200 to send to Haiti so Pastor Cadet can continue in his efforts to construct a solid school building for his students.


┬áGiving is true having. – Charles Spurgeon

Handmade African Bead Necklace Giveaway


There is one more week left in our month of fundraising for the construction of the Vocational Sewing School in Beudet, Haiti. The school is currently under construction, but more funds are needed to complete it.


Haitian Vocational Sewing School progress

Thank you so very much to all who have donated so far. We have currently received $450 for this specific project.

During this last week of May, we will be giving away a handmade African Bead Necklace to each person who makes a donation. These were given to us as a thank you from a church in Uganda where we donated dresses and sewing machines, and we are passing them along to you as a thank you for joining us in our efforts to help Pastor Cadet build a school.

Your name will be put in the drawing for the ISU quilt as well.


We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. Winston Churchill

Win 2 American Girl Doll Dresses


As you know, we are in the midst of raising money for the construction of a Vocational Sewing School in Beudet, Haiti.

You can see photos of the process here and here.

IMG_20170421_135428632We are so very grateful to those who have donated so far. Your names have been entered into the drawing for this Iowa State University quilt.

Additionally, each person who sends a donation this week will also be entered to win the two cute handmade American Girl Doll dresses pictured above.  (Winner of the dresses will be announced next week).



Pastor Cadet sent me an update on cost for the next phase of the project. It is as follows:

building permit —————————————500 USD
Iron Bars 3/8 —————————————–300 USD
60 ┬ácement sacks ———————————-500 USD
1 truck-load of natural stone——————–100 USD
1 truck-load of Gravel—————————–150 USD
rent compactor and vibrator———————300 USD
plank————————————— ————-100 USD
2000 concrete blocks——————————1 000 USD
workforce———————————————–300 USD
1 truck-load of ┬ásand——————————-300 USD
Transportation fees———————————350 USD
TOTAL:———————————————- ┬á4 050 USD
I believe they currently have $1050 of that cost covered, but are in need of $3000 more.
Mom and I have spent time with Pastor Cadet at his school. He and his wife both have a passion for Jesus and for teaching young Haitians life skills that will help them to provide for themselves and their families. 100% of what you donate will go toward Pastor Cadet’s construction costs.
Thanks for considering donating to this worthy project. Feel free to email us at if you have any questions.

Pastor and Madame Cadet with their boys