Needed: Sewing Supplies for Haiti

Photo courtesy of Mister GC at freedigitalphotos.net

Photo courtesy of Mister GC at freedigitalphotos.net

We are heading to Haiti in less than a month and are still taking sewing supply donations to use during the classes we will be teaching, and to donate to the vocational school for future use. Below is a list of suggested times

  • Fancy Fabric – satins, taffeta (anything you might make a bridesmaid or flowergirl dress out of.) We can take smaller pieces, but would prefer to have lengths of at least 4 yards.
  • hook and eyes and/or snaps
  • zippers
  • good quality thread
  • needles, both for machines and hand-sewing
  • sewing scissors
  • seam rippers
  • binding material and/or prepackaged seam binding
  • tape measures
  • rotary cutting board and rotary cutters
  • straight pins
  • misc. sewing supplies
  • cash donations to purchase new items

In addition, the head of the vocational school is interested in a serger sewing machine. If anyone happens to  have one of these they’d like to donate or knows of a way we could purchase one inexpensively, please let me know.

Feel free to email me at 500dresses@gmail.com if you have any questions. Thanks!

 

How You Can Support Us In Our Haiti Trip

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Mom and I are heading to Haiti on November 14. We will be staying on the campus of Mission to Haiti in Port-au Prince, and will spend our week teaching sewing to a small group of vocational students in Beudet.

I am excited that mom is coming along for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is the fact that we will likely be working only on treadle machines. (If you want to know how well I get along with treadle sewing machines you can check out this old post from my last trip to Haiti – The Treadle Battle.)

People have asked how they can help us, pray for us, support us… Below I am listing a variety of ways you can join us in our adventure.

Provide Supplies – We will each take 2 checked bags which we will stuff with as many sewing supplies as possible; both for use in our classes and to leave for the women to use after we have gone. Here’s what we are looking for:

  • Fancy Fabric – satins, taffeta (anything you might make a bridesmaid or flowergirl dress out of.) We can take smaller pieces, but would prefer to have lengths of at least 4 yards.
  • hook and eyes and/or snaps
  • zippers
  • good quality thread
  • needles, both for machines and hand-sewing
  • sewing scissors
  • seam rippers
  • binding material and/or prepackaged seam binding
  • tape measures
  • rotary cutting board and rotary cutters
  • straight pins
  • misc. sewing supplies

Prayers

  • travels – that we make our connecting flights and our luggage arrives with us (When Corey and I went in 2012, our luggage decided to come a day late, and we absolutely should have missed a connecting flight, but God chose to show us how big he is by getting us on the plane.)
  • health
  • the ability to teach in a way the students can understand
  • to be able to successfully use treadles – Mom is practicing on her old machine 🙂
  • that the devotions I will be writing to present at the beginning of each class will be understandable and reach the students for Christ.
  • that my hubby and three boys will survive a week without me 😉

Financial – If you are interested in providing support financially either to defray the costs of our trip, or to cover the expense of supplies we will need to purchase, you can send a check made out to 500 Dresses, to Kim Harms, 314 Centennial Dr. Huxley, IA, 50124 (These donations are not tax-deductible, as 500 Dresses is not an official NPO.) Make note in the memo line what you would like the donation to be used for.)

Thanks so much in advance for your prayers and support. We’ll keep you updated as we learn more info about the trip.

 

From Huxley to Grimes to Kampala to Iganga

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photo from http://www.ugandavillageproject.org/

I’m eagerly anticipating some photos from Uganda, but while I wait I think this excerpt from an email from Florence is definitely worth sharing.

Praise be to the living God . I am so glad to inform you that last evening at around 4:00 pm, I was so honored to meet sister Amy Koester and I received the suitcase full of the beautiful dresses, shorts and the sewing materials. [I regard this as precious hearts from Iowa!!]  Thank you very much my dear sister…
I was so excited to learn from Amy that it didn’t cost her a penny to transport the suitcase from USA to Watoto Church Kampala!! What a blessing!! As well it costed me nothing to transport it from Kampala up to Iganga !! God is so good He has done us much good.
I haven’t spoken to Amy yet, but if this email is correct, she was able to take the extra piece of luggage free of charge. Our first estimate when mom and I started researching sending some items to Uganda was $850! (I talk a little about that in this post: The Girl in the Purple Dress.)

After seeing how this shipment played out, saying God is good feels like such an understatement.

Dresses and Sewing Supplies for Uganda – The Journey Begins

 

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How many dresses can fit in a suitcase? There are 80 in this one.

In addition we squeezed in 18 pairs of shorts and oodles of sewing supplies – binding/bias tape, zippers, velcro, seam rippers and embroidery thread.

I’m happy to share with you that this package is officially on its first leg of the journey to Uganda. I dropped it off this morning with Amy Koestner of Grimes United Methodist Church. She is blessing us by taking our suitcase with her on a mission trip to Kampala, Uganda. If you want to read the cool back-story on this one, you can check it out here.

We are also wiring a donation of $200 to Faith Power Assembly Church in Iganga, Uganda. $75 will be designated for the purchase of a sewing machine for the vocational school they desire to open and the rest will be used for continuing construction needs in rebuilding their church facility.  Our donation will be combined with that of a donation from Mingo United Methodist Church, and we plan to split the cost of the wire. (This is also a cool story, but I’ll save that for another day.)

Thanks for all who have been so generous to our ministry. I can’t wait to share pictures from Florence after she receives the suitcase 🙂

 

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The Girl in the Purple Dress

Kulusumu and her family

Kulusumu and her family

Meet Namusubo Kulusumu. Her Muslim family has a history steeped in polygamy and witchcraft. But last year she received one of  the millions of gift-filled shoeboxes from the Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child ministry. That one shoebox changed her family’s view of Christians.

They said they realized  “born-agains are different” when the local Christians shared their gifts with the Muslim children.

That small gift opened the door for Kulusumu, who had no previous formal education, to begin attending a school where she is not only learning reading, writing and arithmetic, but also about Jesus.

And because Kulusumu wrote a letter to Carter thanking him for the gift, I became acquainted with a wonderful woman named Florence Were. The wife of the pastor of the church through which the shoebox gifts were distibuted, Florence and I have been corresponding for the past several months. I feel like I am making a new friend. One whom I will likely not meet on this side of heaven, but with whom I share a common love for Jesus and desire to serve where he calls me to serve.

Right now, that call includes Iganga, Uganda.

Now that we’ve got our Haiti shipment on its way, Mom and I are planning a special shipment to Uganda which will include dresses and sewing supplies. We are currently researching the most economical way to get a box across the ocean. The UPS man told me to ship a package the size of one of the boxes we sent to Haiti would cost us $850. Yowzers! So that option was eliminated. The USPS is a possibility, but it is looking a bit pricey also. We’ve got the wheels spinning on a couple of other options, but we do not have a solid plan yet.

I do know that if the God I serve owns the cattle on a thousand hills,  he can probably get a box of stuff from Central Iowa to Iganga, Uganda. 🙂 I’m pretty excited to watch him work. Are you?

Kulusumu's home

Kulusumu’s home