The Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers of Bolivar County have been working on dresses for children in various countries such as Belize, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
"It's a joy to be able to help someone else. I never had a little girl and it was so much fun to put together pretty things," said Homemaker Volunteer Irene Winters.
The women have been working on the dresses since the beginning of November and they planned to have all 16 of them packaged and shipped before the end of the month.
"This is an international project. We were required to use a specific pattern for the dresses and they range from sizes 5 to 14," said Homemaker Helen Coleman.
"I timed myself one day and it took me about 50 minutes to make one dress," she added.
According to the Homemaker Volunteers, making the dresses was a very rewarding experience but they would like to see the children who get a chance to sport their handmade threads.
"I have thought about possibly sewing my name and address in one of the dresses so that the child or her parent/s could send me feedback about the dress or a picture of her wearing the dress that I made. That would be a lot of fun to see," said Coleman.
Along with dress making, the Homemaker Volunteers have participated in several service based projects such as donating eyeglasses to the Lions Clubs, collecting items for families who lost their homes in a fire and providing meals and transportation for the sick and elderly in Bolivar County.
They have also published a cookbook over a period of years as a money making project for Multiple Sclerosis and scholarships to children who attend Mississippi State University; they have made and donated items to the Blair E. Batson Children's Hospital and the Wiser Hospital for Women and infants in Jackson; donated teddy bears to local police and highway patrol to give children when they have been involved in an accident; and provided goods and services totaling over $6,000,000.
The mission of Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers, Inc. is to strengthen families through education and community involvement.
Anyone interested in improving family and community life may form a Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers club.
MHV clubs usually have 10 to 20 members who participate in leader training classes, take part in public policy education and serve as community volunteer leaders. Members may participate in county, area and state programs.
MHV clubs may be traditional young family—under 35 couples, special interest, lunch and learn, senior citizens, newly retired, and career.
Mailbox membership is offered for those who want to receive training and educational materials but don't have time to join a traditional club.
For more information about Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers, please contact Laura Giaccaglia at 662-843-8361.