Sunday, 24 August 2014

Day One!

Lately I have felt more than a little overwhelmed by the news. The sad,tragic parts of the news which most of the time displays imagery beyond comprehension. The graphicness of reporting is heartbreaking. I must confess I understand far too little of the intricacies of the warring which seems to be so rampant in much of our world.

For some of the time. I turn it off. Other times I look away. But, it's there. Those children,innocent people and the sheer inhumanity of how people are treating each other.

It is hard to know what to do. It is hard to know if one person can actually make any difference. It is hard not to just become immune and live in a little world which ignores what is happening. But today I was inspired by the story of a ninety nine year old woman.


Lillian Weber is on a mission.

Every day she makes another dress for a small child she’ll never meet.

“I could probably make two a day, but I only make one,” she says.

The dresses are collected and sent overseas to little girls in Africa by a Christian outreach group called “Little Dresses for Africa”.

“I have to be busy,” says Lillian.

And she’s been very busy.

In the past two years she’s made more than 840 dresses and she plans to make 150 more by May 6th of next year.

You see, by next May, Lillian will turn 100 years old and it will be her one thousandth dress.

“It’s just one of those things you learn how to do and enjoy,” she says.

In Lillian’s Scott County farm house are completed dresses for little girls, made from a pattern, but each with extra stitching and individual details, designed to give each child a little extra pride.

“She personalizes them all,” says Lillian’s daughter, Linda Purcell. “It’s not like good enough that she makes the dresses, she has to put something on the front to make it look special, to give it her touch.”

What started as a hobby has become a daily labor of love.

Lillian says she starts work on a dress in the morning, takes a break during the midday, and puts finishing touches in the afternoon.

“I just think she’s somebody to look up to, somebody whose not just sitting around and frittering her life away,” says Tonya Urbatsch, who nominated Lillian for the “Pay It Forward” award.

“I’m amazed at her every day,” adds Linda. “I’m very, very proud of my mother.”

Family and friends will continue to be proud of Lillian, well after her 1000th dress. After all, 1000 is just a number.

“When I get to that thousand, if I’m able to. I won’t quit. I’ll go at it again because there’s no reason to not do nothing.”

When Lillian is finished with her dresses, her daughters deliver them to a Davenport senior living apartment complex where a group of residents have a weekly sewing appointment to make dresses for the charitable organization.

“Little Dresses for Africa” is a Christian charitable organization founded in 2008 in Michigan.

Its founder, Rachel O’Neill, says 2.5 million dresses have been distributed.

The simple dresses are distributed to orphanages, churches, and schools in Africa.

Rachel says she’s traveling to Africa again in September 2014 and February 2015 and hopes to be able to present to a child one of the dresses personally made by Lillian.



Amazing. And of course the viral effect of Facebook is wonderful when used in a caring compassionate way. The " Ice Bucket Challenge" has already raised enough money to fund over 10 Macmillan Nurses.


So, I have decided that every little effort can count. Every penny must surely help. Every effort might change the plight of one person. And that person will know that another human being has at least done something. Not just looked the other way.


Today was Day One of my challenge. I am not going to make a promise that I will create something every day but I am going to try to make something for charity as often as I can.


Following on from my " getting shirty post" I stopped cutting hundreds of squares and got sewing. Here is Number One cushion cover completed and ready to deliver. That's easy.... Our town is full of charity shops and this one is going to the Red Cross.



As it's Bank Holiday weekend I am hoping I will have another 2 to add to the delivery on Tuesday!

And mulling around in my head is a scheme about shirts. But, if it was to go in the smallest way viral I may be overwhelmed. The one thing I am sure of is that there are an awful lot of generous souls in Blogland and that might happen.



  1. Linda, thank you for sharing the story of that wonderful woman who makes cute little dresses for those poor little girls who usually only have rags to wear. Very inspirational! And of course, you are always making things for others and I'm proud to know you.
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  2. I think my first post disappeared into oblivion ..... So here goes mark 2 ...
    I saw this story earlier in the week what a wonderful inspirational lady , it really moved me - ever since I first knew you Linda you have been a real inspiration to me - every item stitched, crocheted or knitted with so much love - every item you've made has benefited and brought joy to someone somewhere - so as Theresa said I'm really proud to know you #lovely-lady xxxx

    1. Thank you so much Jaqueline. I think I will feel brave enough to "talk " about my idea soon!

  3. Lillian is indeed an inspiration, and living proof that not only crafting, but doing things for the benefit of others is the key to longevity. I know that much of what you make is for charity already but I wish you well in your challenge. I'm intrigued by your shirt idea - I'm sure all will be revealed soon!

  4. I agree about the news reports. I can only watch one news programme per day now....there are so many wars on this small planet. The dresses the lady makes are all lovely and I'm sure it helps her to keep so busy.

  5. What an inspirational lady. I once heard in my sons assembly - you can't do everything but you can do something" I must try and find the prayer. I kept it as the words were so lovely and inspiring and worth remembering.

  6. I too had heard about this amazing lady, and it made me feel as though I wasn't doing enough. I'll be interested to hear about your idea.

  7. This is the best thing I have read in ages. Very inspirational and a little bit exciting...I got butterflies when I read you have an idea. xx

  8. I'd read Lillian's story and you're right she is an inspiration . Well done you for not just reading it but for taking that inspiration and doing something about it.

  9. An amazing story, Lillian is a wonderful lady isn't she. I hope that she can achieve her challenge and do more if she wants to. Your idea to make some things and donate them is just like you and is something that I know that you already do from your other blog posts in the past. You are a great inspiration and a very kind and caring person!! xx

  10. WOW!!!! What an amazing woman!!!! So inspirational!!!! Well done with your own effort!!!! Have a happy week!!!
    AMarie xxx

  11. Thanks so much for sharing that woman's story! She is incredible! And well done you for trying to make a difference for those less fortunate.

  12. I agree...the news is filled with so much awfulness lately. I don't understand how some people can treat other so horribly either. I try not to watch much of it as it's just upsetting and doesn't help anything. I do hope things get better though.

    I love the story you shared about Lillian. What sweet and talented woman. Those dresses are adorable too. She's definitely an inspiration.

    I like your challenge of doing things for charity as often as you can. I will do that too!

    I like your new pillow! It's so cute! I love blues and I love shirt fabrics and patchwork. Great job! :-)

    Have a wonderful week!

  13. Bless you, Linda, for pledging to do more than you already do for charity. i hadn't heard about Lillian, so thank you for sharing that. You might be interested in this post:

  14. Linda, I have just had the pleasure of reading your August posts and am once more impressed and inspired by how you lovingly, creatively make our world better. From making baskets to buntings and recording encouraging stories about family, friends, and others in your posts you are generously sharing ideas that can spark interest in others to make a positive difference in the world around them as well. Thanks for your good efforts :-) xx

  15. Quite inspirational, a truly beautiful post.

  16. Lillian is a great example to us all.


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