Current DRESS Count: 670
HEARTfelt Thank You:
Hand written notes, home sewn dresses and hope-filled wishes have been delivered into our HOPE Art coffers and we are slowly cataloguing and packing each and every dress. The amount of kindness the world has bestowed on these 40 orphan girls in the Carrefour slum of Port au Prince, Haiti is indescribably, unimaginably kind. All of us here, at HOPE Art would like to thank all of you for sending so much love for us to hand carry into Haiti and give to the girls. They are going to feel incredibly warm, cuddled and loved when we bundle them up in adorable dresses.
Project HOPE Art
2201 Carroll Street #5
Oakland, CA 94606
The DRESS Catalogue:
The DRESS Story:
by Kathy Barbro, http://www.artprojectsforkids.org
In December of 2010 I received a most inspiring email from one of my readers. I teach K-5 art in Sherman Oaks, CA and I post my lesson plans on my blog. Jenni Ward introduced herself as a fellow art teacher and a member of Project HOPE Art, a nonprofit group of professionals dedicated to making art with [and delivering aid to] Haitian orphans. Jenni and four other members had just returned from Haiti and she was kind enough to email photos of Haitian orphans working on a project she’d downloaded from my blog. That was all the motivation I needed. I offered to join HOPE Art and they accepted.
Last August, I joined our founder, Mimi Schilling and members Julie Ulm and Jenni on a two-week trip to Port-Au-Prince and surrounding areas. We created colorful art, danced to music and played with children at orphanages, hospitals, tent cities and schools. The experience was unforgettable. Before returning home we asked some of the girls at Nadine’s orphanage what they’d like us to bring on our next trip. It’s important to note that it’s part of our mission to hand deliver any aid we collect as it is the only sure way to get it to the children. On every trip, we each carry the 70 lbs. allowed by the airlines. Clothing topped every wish list which was hardly a surprise as most of the girls were wearing tattered dresses and worn flip-flops. They needed dresses and Mimi came up with a plan.
Knowing I’m an experienced sewer, she asked me to take the lead and find a simple downloadable dress pattern and to do a blog post to see if I could raise some volunteers. Our goal was to get 30 dresses made for the girls at Nadine‘s. I located a free pattern for a simple but very pretty sundress, compliments of Oliver+S at oliverands.com. On September 1st I posted “Homemade Dress Drive For Haiti.”
The response overwhelmed us. Moms and daughters, and girl scout troops and classrooms, from as far away as Australia, answered the call and spread the word to others. In January, four members made the trip and delivered 300 homemade sundresses and a bounty that included new undergarments, flip-flops, sunglasses, hats and even 20 tutus. We’ve already received nearly 100 more sundresses and additional accessories for an April return. And I’m just thrilled to be going back in July. The Homemade Dress Drive for Haiti is an ongoing campaign of Project HOPE Art.