Women in an Englewood community devastated by Hurricane Ian have been sewing up a storm to help little girls in need while working to rebuild.
Over the last four months, Beverly Morford and her friends in the Mobile Garden community hand-made colorful dresses to send to little girls in the Republic of Malawi in southeast Africa as part of the “Dress a Girl Around the World” campaign.
“When women sew their mouths go, Morford said. “Little girls that have never had a dress… this might be the first dress they’ve ever had.”
“We sew two pockets on each dress so that they can put things in it,” said Debbie Crawford. “They said the little girls like to put things in their pockets.”
Their weekly sewing sessions served as a distraction from the devastation still around them nearly seven months after Ian.
“It’s been real tough; we still have a lot of homes that have tarps. It’s just trying to find people to come and fix it,” Crawford said. “It takes my mind off of a lot of things.”
Crawford’s home was destroyed in the storm. She and her husband are living in a trailer while they wait for permits to start the rebuild process. On top of that, her husband is undergoing chemotherapy for stage four pancreatic cancer.
“I’ve always thought, ‘Is there something I can do for somebody since we’ve had so many people help us out?’ Especially through his cancer and everything,” Crawford said. “To be able to do something to give back to someone else… it makes my heart proud.”
The Mobile Gardens women started with the goal of making 10 dresses. They ended up making 50.