To Haiti, with love |

To Haiti, with love

Courtesy PhotoFrom top left: Rae Wilson, Marilyn Findley, Marilyn Orr, Diane Bielski, Sally Hicks, and Monica Fuqua.

If you happened to drive by St. John’s Episcopal Church on Friday you will hear the hum of sewing machines and a gathering of women with one goal in mind: sewing sundresses for little girls in Haiti. Swaths of colorful fabric will be transformed into dresses in a variety of sizes.

Diane Bielski, of Granby, is helping organize sewing days. The project started when she heard about the earthquake in Haiti and her two friends went there to help.

“People go to Haiti on mission trips thinking they will help,” she said.

“They come back thinking their lives have been enriched. People in Haiti struggle for food, education, housing, and medical care. When you have so many life struggles how do you say God is good; they still do.”

Missionaries come back sharing a newly learned attitude that nothing is going to get them down, she said.

Bielski learned from her missionary friends that families are required to pay tuition in order for children to attend school in Haiti, and students must wear school uniforms. The sundresses will allow the girls’ uniforms to have less wear and tear and possibly be handed down to a younger sibling. Bielski started sewing dresses and brought one to church. It caught on, and other women started sewing.

“One women made 24 dresses. You make one, and you just want to keep going.”

Bielski has been sewing for years making quilts. “It’s a joy, but this is different,” she said.

“I was thinking about the girl who would get the dress, wondering what their lives would be like. I want the girl to know that there is someone miles away who is thinking of them and wanting to help them.”

The sewing day on Friday is the second of a series of sewing gatherings, depending on the communty’s interest.

Fabric is provided, but if anyone wants to bring “the stuff stuck in the back of your closet” bring it. If you can’t come and want to sew at home, Bielski says she will pick up dresses.

“This is a project of love,” she said. “We hope every stitch carries hope and goodwill.”