By Mary Jo Gugino
A little more than three years ago, I believed that making dresses for Dress A Girl Around the World could make a difference. As President and Founder of Angels of Mercy, I knew that whatever we could do to help prevent sex trafficking would be a blessing, saving women and girls from a life of misery and pain. When we held our first sewing event, our goal was 100 dresses. The first event produced over 500 dresses and Dress a Girl began exploding in Rochester. Soon after, Angels of Mercy became the NYS Ambassador/Rep for this commendable organization.
My heart was deeply touched by the way God used women of all ages, right here in Rochester and across New York State to impact the lives of so many. When I begin to think of the individuals who have joined us in saying “YES” to the “DRESS,” I am humbled at how many volunteers have given of self, time and talent. One dress can change a life! Precious young girls here in our own community, nation and around the world are wearing perhaps their only new dress . . . made with love by someone they don’t even know.
Today, more than 40 groups have joined with us, making us even stronger and better able to supply the demand. Churches, individuals and medical teams call our office to request dresses, dolls, and beanie babies to bless children around the globe. It is pure JOY to prepare the suitcases and boxes to accompany those traveling to orphanages, hospitals and missions. Dresses are sent weekly, sometimes three times a week. All someone has to do is call us, provide the required information, and follow the guidelines of Dress A Girl and they are on their way.
One of our Board Members and her team reads to Rochester City School children. We packed and sent 300 Easter dresses to these young girls in Rochester. Another 25 were taken to a church to dress girls for Easter. It is rewarding and exemplifies the mighty hand of God in all we do.
How can you help? We accept donations of cotton and cotton/poly fabric (not see-through or white please), pillowcases, bias tape, grosgrain ribbon, and, of course, individuals with a willing heart to volunteer with our program.
We are all about WOMEN MOVING FORWARD. To learn more about how you can help make a difference, call at 585-730-4556 or visit www.angelsofmercyny.org.
Dress a Girl Around the World is a Campaign under Hope 4 Women International (a 501 (c) 3 organization) bringing dignity to women around the world since 2006.