Around the World
Dress A Girl
Soroptimist International of Woodland has been actively supporting Dress a Girl Around the World as part of our international project since 2017. Dress a Girl Around the World began back in 2006 as a program of Hope 4 Women International, a nondenominational Christian organization. "We dream of a world in which every girl has at least one new dress. We want girls to know that they are worthy of respect and they are loved by God." When we heard that many, many girls were also being protected from human trafficking as a result of “Dress a Girl”, we knew we had to help!
We reached out to the community and found Woodlanders have been eager to support the project. Some chose to sew, some donate fabric and supplies, and others provide monetary donations. The first year of our project, Soroptimist International Sierra Nevada Region collected more than four thousand dresses and over $1800 in cash donations.
Our first batch of dresses went to young girls in Cambodia who had been rescued from sex trafficking. Many more of our dresses were hand delivered by one of our Woodland members, Tania Garcia-Cadena, to girls in a village in Zambia. Another set of dresses were hand delivered by a community member to girls in Tanzania. As always, each dress was delivered with a new pair of panties in the pocket.
If you would like to assist in making dresses or donate materials, please contact us.
In 2020, the Dress a Girl project temporarily shifted its efforts to creating facemasks in support of the COVID-19 pandemic. When COVID-19 began disrupting our community, the shelter-in-place order put many of our usual club projects on hold, including our “SewFests” to make dresses. In addition, the emerging local need for cloth masks became evident. Therefore, Soroptimist International of Woodland decided to pivot from the “Dress a Girl” project to assisting our health care community by making cloth masks. Soon, other non-profits began to request masks.
Soroptimist International of Woodland donated thousands of masks and more than hundreds of headbands and crochet extenders with buttons to local nonprofits. We also created sewing kits, which include precut fabric and elastic, and solicited help from our community members.