And the Winners Are…

quilts

…Sharon Sweers (ISU quilt) and Shelly Olsan (Ballard quilt)

Thank you to all who donated toward our trip and to all of you who are praying for us.

We will head to Haiti on July 21 and return on July 28.

Mom has started planning sewing classes. We’ll be making backpacks. But before we go she’s going to have to teach me how to make them (because I’m not fantastic at sewing 🙂 )

Corey and the boys will be fixing and remodeling a building on the Mission to Haiti campus that was damaged during the earthquake several years ago.

I’m excited that my boys have the opportunity to experience a world very different from their own and to serve Jesus in a tangible way working alongside their dad. #blessedmama

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We’re Going to Haiti (and Giving Away a Couple Quilts)

 

The last time I went to Haiti was November 2015.  It was a trip I took with my mom to teach sewing classes. Corey and I went together to Haiti two years prior.

During each of those trips I thought, “Someday, when they’re old enough, we need to IMG_1885IMG_5359bring our boys here.”

Then I got cancer and life as we knew it drastically changed. Everything was readjusted on the scale of importance. We focused on me, which was a necessary thing to do, but thoughts of a return trip to Haiti fell to the recesses of my mind.

Then last fall, I had the opportunity to ship some dresses to Haiti with a friend. After handing off a suitcase filled with dresses to Jessica, I didn’t give it much thought. Not until she texted me one day in December and said, “Kim, can I come over to your house and talk to you about my trip?”

So Jessica came and sat with Corey and me and showed us photos and cried as she told us stories and talked about how her teenage daughter’s eyes were opened in a new way to Jesus’ love for the world.

And that was it.

It was like God was nudging me, “Kim, it’s time.”

But that’s a big deal. Taking 4/5ths of our family to a foreign country for 8 days is not an inexpensive venture.

But Corey and I both know that we want our boys to see Jesus clearly. And we desire for them to serve Him. Of course they don’t have to leave American soil to do that, but I can’t think of a better opportunity to expand their worldview and their Godview than the place where my worldview and Godview were rocked.

So here we go…

We, along with my mom, plan to travel to Haiti this July. Though details aren’t set, Corey and the boys will likely do construction work while mom and I teach sewing classes at the vocational school we taught at in 2015.

The cost of this trip will be approximately $6500.

That looks like such a big number to me. But I was recently reminded that my God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and when He leads us to something, He provides. Whether that’s from our bank account (everything we have is His anyway, right) or through the blessings of gifts from others.

My fantastic mother made the two quilts pictured and gave them to me to help defray the cost of our trip. If you feel led to donate any amount, your name will be put in a drawing for one of these quilts. Simply send a note with your donation letting me know which quilt you’d like a chance at receiving.

God is good. And I’m so thankful that He lovingly urges me on to do the things He wants me to do. And I’m beyond excited for the possibility of this experience with my mom and three of my four favorite men in the world.

Kim (and family)

Please don’t feel pressured to give, but if you do you, can write a check out to me and send it to 804 Timberlane, Huxley, IA 50124. Or you can donate through PayPal (make sure you specify friends and family, not goods and services) to ckharmsfamily@hotmail.com. (Don’t forget to mention which quilt you’d like your name in the drawing for.)

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.

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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.

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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 500dresses@gmail.com with any questions.

A Quick Update

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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. 🙂 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

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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 🙂

Sewing School Graduation

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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.

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And the Winner Is…

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…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.

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 Giving is true having. – Charles Spurgeon

Handmade African Bead Necklace Giveaway

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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.

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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.

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