Michigan Women Sew Sundresses for Haitian Girls

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What can be done with a bunch of old pillowcases? Just ask Lois Minier from Fellowship Christian Reformed Church in Big Rapids, Mich., who has been busy this winter sewing more than 150 dresses made from gently used pillowcases for children in Haiti.

Girls at Fellowship CRC model dresses for Haiti. Back (l-r): Jaylen Schroeder, Delaney Sall, Hannah Sall, Valerie Krause, Lydia Sall; Front (l-r): Hannah Los, Violet Talsma, Erin Gorby, Anneke Krause

“When I first started, I was just going to make a few, and then I thought I can make 100, and then I thought I can make 300. And now I’m sure from the group I’ve organized, we’ll have more than 400,” said Minier.

The dresses will be sent to a village in Cayes, Haiti, through Harvest International, and will be given to “yard orphans.” These children have no home or parents and live in Haitian people’s yards, because even the orphanages are too full to take them in.

Dresses also will be dropped off at orphanages and hospitals in the town.

Last August, 1,400 dresses were sent to Haiti along with 500 pairs of donated shorts and T-shirts. This August the group hopes to send just as many.

“The hard part is gathering the pillowcases,” said Minier. “If you have a church with a lot of young people like ours, they don’t have used pillowcases, and they’re expensive to buy. But my generation will save things, and every four or five add up.”

Minier has been busy getting other churches and denominations in her area involved, along with her friends and family. One man collected more than 70 pillowcases through his friends.

“These are the gratifying things you reap through doing something like this, finding out that there are a lot of good, compassionate people out there,” said Minier. “The neat thing is that God can use people at any age. This has been such a blessing for those of us who are older, because we have time to sew. It has been one of the most gratifying, fun things I have ever done.”

Pattern for dresses

About the Author

Daina Kraai is the Banner's regional news correspondent for classes Muskegon and Northern Michigan.

See comments (2)


I read about you in the Banner and would like to be involved. Have plenty of cotton quilting fabric if necessary to use.v

Hi Karen, Thank you for your interest in the little dresses project! We would be happy to have you join our team or help you start one of your own. Please feel free to contact me via Fellowship CRC, Big Rapids, MI. I look forward to hearing from you. Lois Minier