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4-H project takes dresses around the world

Pictured are 13 year old Jenna Crawford with her mom Molly Crawford outside of Molly's business, Mayberry's Coffee House and Eatery.
Pictured are 13 year old Jenna Crawford with her mom Molly Crawford outside of Molly's business, Mayberry's Coffee House and Eatery.

Jenna Crawford, 13, has a special plan for her 4-H project this summer. She is participating in an organization called Dress a Girl Around the World.

She first found the organization after discussing with her mom, Molly Crawford, different ideas for her 4-H project. Molly had thought of a sewing project and the two started looking at different websites for ideas when they came across www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com, a Christian organization helping women and girls in need and in developing countries.

"A lot of those girls only get one dress their whole life. Some have been trafficking victims or could be the next one, so I just wanted to help them," said Jenna.

Each dress that goes to this organization has a label that is to be sewn onto the front of the dress. Not only do the new dresses raise the girls self esteem, but it also changes how she is viewed by others. With the label visibly on the front of the dress, it signifies to predators that these girls are under the care of an organization.

There are many specific guidelines that Jenna will have to follow in order for her dresses to be used by Dress a Girl Around the World. She must use 100 percent cotton fabric, there are specifications for shoulder ties, arm holes, pockets and seams, as well as patterns that can be on the fabric. There can be no American patriotic fabric, Halloween or Christmas patterns or Disney characters.

The Dress a Girl Around the World organization was started in 2009 by Rachel Eggum Cinader, and since that time has delivered more than one million dresses to 81 countries. The motto of the organization is "Every girl deserves at least one dress."

Jenna's goal is 30 dresses. She has been fundraising for the money for fabric and other necessities in order to sew the dresses together. Jenna has sold water bottles at a family garage sale and is planning more fundraising events for the near future. When she has all the funds to purchase the fabric she will have a sewing day to get all 30 dresses sewn together, labeled and ready to be shipped out.

To donate monetarily for Jenna to purchase the proper fabric and accoutrements, call Molly Crawford at 641-414-3888. Fabric donations may be made as well, but donors are encouraged to visit www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com/guidlines beforehand to be sure all guidelines are met.

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