Brownstown, Michigan … The UPS driver came out of the truck with a handcart stacked high with boxes, and started up toward the house. It was not an unusual site as we have experienced this with the now-concluded pill container program for almost three years, day after day, week after week, month after month. In fact, because of the amount of various supplies that go into 40-foot trailers destined for Malawi, after making their way through our house, this scene is very familiar and has been for well over 20 years.
But in reality we were not at our home in Indianapolis, but in Brownstown, Michigan in the home of Michael and Rachel O’Neill. As with us they traveled to Africa and fell in love with the people. Like with us they wanted to do something to make a difference in the lives of the people there. And like with us they formed a not-for-profit organization through which they could channel good things to good people. While we formed the Malawi Project and set out to send aid, aid that would often travel through our living room, on the way to Africa, they formed Little Dresses for Africa, and set out to supply little girls with brand new dresses made by women in America.
The UPS driver set the boxes on the step, and then headed back to his truck. Michael would soon go outside and load the boxes in the pick up and take them to the store front warehouse where they would be sorted by volunteer groups who packaged the dresses while staring at walls full of smiling children grinning at them from inside wooden picture frames.
It was all too familiar and so good to see people like the O’Neills who share the passion to help children who might never have seen a new dress, let alone own one. Our hats off to the O’Neills, and all of those around the nation who are working to send dresses to little girls in Africa.
In a joint effort to help the girls of Malawi Little Dressses makes frequent donations of dresses to go in shipments from the Malawi Project. This trip to Michigan was no different. At the end of the visit Dick and Suzi Stephens left Brownstown with another 1,000 dresses to go in an upcoming shipment to Malawi.
Pictures: Anticipation on the face of a little girl about to receive a new dress.
The delight seen on her face when the same little girl has her dress.
– Richard Stephens