Donate Your Wedding Dress (Large Sizes Only)

IMG_5486Do you have a large wedding dress taking up space in your closet or know of someone who does?

We are in need of wedding dresses (size 12 and up)  to ship to Haiti. Though the Dorcas Ministry Shop has closed its doors, Madame Benison still rents out wedding gowns and sells formals gowns through a room on the Mission to Haiti campus.

Mdm. Bennison

Mdm. Bennison

This endeavor supplies her with a regular income, and she provides an excellent service for brides in Port au Prince. During the one week my mom and I spent in Haiti, we saw her do fittings with 2 customers.

She currently has a large number of small dresses, but very few large sizes, so she has had to turn people away.

Donations can be sent us at 500 Dresses c/o Kim Harms, 314 Centennial Dr., Huxley, IA 50124

As always, thank you for your support of this ministry!

A Beautiful Haitian Bride

 

IMG_1003

 

This beautiful bride is Manoucheke Pierre, wife a Steeve Derard, an employee of Mission to Haiti. The two were married last fall, and they were kind enough to send me some photos to post for you to see.

Manoucheke is just one of many brides who have benefited from Dorcas Ministry Shop.The bridal gown rental business keeps a variety of sizes and styles of wedding gowns on hand for brides-to-be to rent for their big day. Unlike in the United States where brides buy a dress and grooms rent a tux, in Haiti the bride rents a dress while the groom has a suit tailored for him. (Steeve’s brother is a tailor and made his suit.)

Brides can also purchase flower girl dresses, bridesmaid dresses and mother-of-the-bride dresses from The Dorcas Ministry Shop. (The flower girl makes an appearance in the last photo.) Keep on giving us your gently used formal gowns, and we’ll keep providing the shop with new merchandise.

Be sure to take a look at Manoucheke’s bouquet. Y’vette, Mirlaine and Sonia, three women I had the opportunity to work with last year, make pretty fabric bridal bouquets at the shop.

DSC_1874

DSC_2873 (1)

DSC_1905

 

Beautiful Bridal Gowns for Haiti

When I was a little girl I used to like to try on the fancy dresses that my seamstress mom made or altered for pretty much every bride or prom goer within a 100 mile radius of Britt, Iowa.  I’d pretend I was heading off to a formal dance or getting ready for my wedding. (Shhh, don’t tell anyone…I’m pretty sure mom’s customers don’t know I modeled their dresses in front of my full length mirror.)

I currently prefer jeans and flips-flops to frills and lace, but I do like to look at pretty dresses. I thought you might too. We recently received these two beautiful dresses to send to Dorcas Ministry Shop in Port au Prince. Enjoy the photos 🙂

IMG_3755

IMG_3756

IMG_3757

IMG_3754

IMG_3751

 

IMG_3746

Weddings In Haiti

IMG_2084

Almost 20 mother-of-the-bride dresses, a handful of flower-girl dresses and a bunch of sewing supplies are heading to the Dorcas Ministry Shop. (If you are interested in the background of the bridal shop, you can read about it in Haute Couture in Haiti, an article I had the privilege to write for Today’s Christian Woman last summer.)

Many people have asked me questions about weddings in Haiti. With the extreme poverty, how can people even afford to get married? Is a bridal shop a lucrative business? Are Haitian weddings like American weddings?

Honestly, I don’t know a lot, but I’ll share what I do know.

I think the answer to the question, How can people in Haiti afford to get married?, is: It’s hard.

There are a lot of costs involved including some kind of marriage fee to the Haitian government, the actual wedding ceremony and meal and all the various costs that go along with that, and housing. From what I understand, a groom is expected to acquire a respectable furnished place in which to live with his new bride.

Three Possible Scenarios.

Some couples can afford to get married. Haiti is the poorest country in the world, but some people do have money.

Some couples scrimp and save and work very hard for a long time to have the finances to get married.

Some couples want to get married, but because they cannot afford it, they choose to live together without getting married.

I also know that weddings are a big deal in the Haitian culture, so a bridal shop makes sense. There will always be weddings, so there will always be a demand for wedding gowns and other bridal attire. Since Dorcas Ministry Shop rents and sells inventory at a reasonable price, they are helping the bride and groom as well as providing much needed income for their employees.

I’ve tried to do some research ino Haitian weddings online, but I haven’t found a ton out there. I did find this post, A Haiti Wedding, with some info and a number of photos from a Haitian wedding to give you a taste of what a typical Haitian wedding might look like.

I don’t fully understand that ins and outs of planning and paying for a wedding in Haiti.

What I do know is that God has opened up this opportunity for us to serve, and we will continue to do so as long as we can be beneficial to the ministry. I do not think it is a coincidence that my mom, who has been sewing for weddings since before I was born, was connected to this little bridal shop in Port-au-Prince. And when God takes your passion and says – “Here, I’ve got this sweet way for you to serve me”- serving him in that way is exactly what you should do.

Coffee and Dresses Success

IMG_3393

Thanks to everyone who came out to Solid Rock Coffee House on Saturday to learn more about our ministry. And thanks for understanding if I looked like I didn’t know what I was doing (because I really didn’t know what I was doing.)

We so greatly appreciate the donations we received. From flower girl dresses and velcro to fabric and cash, we are excited about the items we will have in our next shipment! I shouldn’t be surprised at the support because when God leads you to do something he always provides, but I’m still a little overwhelmed when I think of how he provides over and over again.

Learn more about  where we are sending the sewing items and formal dresses in this Today’s Christian Woman article. And be sure to check out Mission to Haiti too.

We’re excited about the donations, but we’re also excited to give a few things away to say thanks. The following are the winners of the drawings

1.  $20 Solid Rock Gift Card (donated by Sara at Solid Rock. Thank you Sara!!) – Jayme Wilken

2. American Girl Doll outfit – Erica Thorson

3. Hope for Haiti children’s book – Cheryl Patterson