About 130 needy girls in Nigeria will be donning smiles and new dresses this summer, thanks to some talented seamstresses from Good Shepherd Catholic Church.
The sewing project was a Lenten endeavor undertaken by the church’s Christian Service Commission, which was recently reorganized.
“Once we collected all the materials needed, we were ready to begin,” said Mary Jane Biro, who made eight pillowcase dresses.
Elaine Wilson made some of the first dresses so the other women would know what to do. “It was a great activity,” she said. “The ladies really liked it because they could work at home. I helped to promote it because I knew it would be a project for the women. We had an excellent response from the ladies of the church. A couple of the women made 30 dresses.”
The 131 dresses have been packed in suitcases and will find their way to Nigeria when Sister Nina returns to her congregation of the Daughters of Mary Mother of Mercy in Nigeria this summer. “We hope that she will take some pictures of the little girls wearing the dresses,” said Biro, 83, who enjoys working puzzles and playing cards along with her husband, Bob.
“Most of the dresses are sleeveless because it gets so hot in Nigeria, said Biro, a graduate of St. Roch Grade School and St. John Academy. “They are so cute with the little straps that go over the shoulders. I am astonished at how beautiful they are. Most of the dresses were made for younger girls, but some were for young teenagers.
“The ladies who participated told me that they found sewing very relaxing. Once their creative juices started flowing, they really enjoyed the outcome.
“I liked the project because I discovered that I can still sew pretty well. Everybody wants to do it again. We brought all the finished dresses to church so everyone could admire them. This is something that other parishes can do.”