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Packing OCC Shoeboxes for Girls Verses Boys: Why I Sew Dozens of Dresses

Most of us know that Operation Christmas Child reports most boxes are packed for 5 to 9 year old girls and boys and that 10 to 14 and 2 to 4 year old boys receive the least.  This has caused many of us, including my family, to focus the bulk of our packing for boys.  I'm taking some time to rethink my packing in light of what I have learned about many cultures around the world from being involved with the representatives of Dress A Girl Around the World.
Why I pack dresses for girls in Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes
Check out my step by step, illustrated instructions to make your own Pillow Case Style Dresses.

Dress A Girl Around The World’s [DAG] goal is to provide dignity and protection to young girls in crisis situations while letting them know they are loved.  Their website says there are many “girls who live in a society where they have no value—where they are used as slaves—where they are abused and preyed upon and no one considers this to be unspeakable injustice.  By providing a new
dress you may well be changing a young girl’s destiny. Village pastors tell us that a girl wearing a new dress presents an appearance that she is well cared for and may discourage would-be predators.”
Dress A Girl Around the World dresses
The two older girls on the left are in
dresses I sent thru DAG.
I have personally spoken to some of the women who have taken dresses to little girls around the world and heard their stories.  In many of these cultures the hierarchy is Men, Boys, Women and then girls.  If money or supplies are short the girls are left without.  Many of the little girls they gave dresses to had no clothing at all.  Many of the schools they visited had uniforms that the girls put on when arriving at school, when they left many wore nothing, leaving them vulnerable.

Happy Girl with her new Pillow case dress from DAG.
I made this dress to represent an NC Wolfpack cheerleader
 in honor of the husband of a DAG representative.

These sweet girls often have the responsibility of fetching the water for the family.  They go to the public water source and are often abused or even forced into human trafficking.  And as stated above, often a new dress is enough protection to stop a predator.

Before and after picture:  little girl with a new dress from Dress A Girl.
Before and after images -- inspiring me to continue to sew.
This dress was made by Suzanne of Sew Delightful.
So for the time being, as long as I have fabric to make dresses, I will keep sewing and send love and dignity to little girls thru shoebox gifts that include dresses. And hopefully, some will find their way thru Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes to little girls who need the protection.

If you'd like to seem some of the dresses I have sent thru OCC you can see the series of posts here:  Dresses Made by Cheryl for Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes.


Anonymous said...

When I put a dress in a shoebox, I make sure to also put at least two pairs of panties, as well. I include flip flops and a t-shirt, too.
Mary Jane

Anonymous said...

Yes please include girls underpants, even without a dress. Always needed. Thank you. sg-ks

Elle Sees said...

thanks for letting us know about this wonderful idea to help!

Pam @Threading My Way said...

Interesting perspective. I hadn't thought about it that way before. Dress A Girl is such a worthy and worthwhile cause. I haven't sewn any dresses for them for ages. I must get my act together.

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

You are right, it is a worthy cause. I just love sewing the dresses. And it has been such a joy to see several on the girls. I hope you get sewing for them again and enjoy as much as I do.

Anonymous said...


Here is a link for a free dolly pattern that is really simple to make. You can make her to match the dresses out of left over scraps!

Cheryl @ Simply Shoeboxes said...

Thank you, Bev, for sharing the link -- she is precious! I have wanted to start making dollies! Perfect timing, thanks again.

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