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Maris Grove Residents Create Clothing Out of Love and for Children Across the World

August 19, 2011

Unique Clothing Creation Project Dresses Children in the United States, Africa and Other Parts of the World

GLEN MILLS, PA - As we lay our head on comfortable pillows at night, dressed in soft pillow cases, many around the world go without basic clothing.  Those same pillow cases are now being used to address that need.
Since this past March, a group of 32 Maris Grove residents have creatively crafted special clothing for the disadvantaged, using only one form of material which we often take for granted - pillow cases.
Seventy-five little dresses and britches have been made for the organization Little Dresses for Africa, a 501 c3 Christian-based group that provides relief to children of Africa and other parts of the world, including the U.S.
"I think for me I have a passion for the plight of the children in Africa," said Maris Grove resident Judy Baldwin, who founded the group at the community.  "I have always wanted to help and feel as though children in Africa have always been overlooked by the world and are in such need of the basic necessities.
"When I learned of this organization, I thought that this could be some small way that I could make a difference- I thought that taking part was my small way of giving back to that part of the world," Mrs. Baldwin said.
The ladies who are part of the offshoot of Little Dresses for Africa work in their homes, cutting and sewing the dresses, but they meet once a month to pack up the items for distribution to the places in need.  They also discuss how to grow the group to get more and more members to contribute to the organization.
Last month, a shipment of 14 dresses went to the Appalachia Service Project (ASP) where they benefitted young boys and girls living in West Virginia.  The dresses and britches were taken down by Steve Crum, a Delaware County resident who is a member of the Calvary Lutheran Church in Westchester.
"These ladies are to be commended for doing such a tremendous job working together to create, collect and ship off clothing of comfort for the people of Africa, the United States and beyond," said Maureen Heckler, Maris Grove executive director.
"The dresses and britches that this compassionate group of women created will hopefully provide some soothing reassurance to a child in need of some consolation during such difficult times," Mrs. Heckler said.
The organization Little Dresses for Africa disburses simple dresses made out of pillow cases and distributes them to orphanages, churches and schools.  To date, dresses and donations from all 50 states across the U.S. have totaled more than 300,000 little dresses, which have been distributed in 28 countries of Africa.  The organization has also sent dresses to countries in crisis, when in requested, such as Honduras, Guatmala, Philippines, Cambodia, Mexico and thousands upon thousands in Haiti.  Dresses have also been sent to children here in the United States living in the Appalachian Mountain region and in South Dakota.  Please click onto to learn more about Little Dresses for Africa.
Approximately 1,300 people live at Maris Grove, an Erickson Living full-service retirement community that promotes a vibrant lifestyle.  Erickson Living develops and manages 16 full-service retirement communities that provide worry-free living for America's seniors - the country's fastest-growing population segment.  Erickson Living's refundable entrance deposit and predictable monthly service fees provide residents across the country financial peace of mind. Comprehensive health and wellness services, integrated into every community, lead to demonstrated resident benefits.  For more information, visit