BFWC sews dresses for girls at risk

Valerie Forrest, left, and Nancy McAuliffe of the Bellows Falls Woman’s Club display the dresses they sewed for the Dress a Girl Around the World project. Photo provided

BELLOWS FALLS, Vt. – Members of the Bellows Falls Woman’s Club participated in the international “Dress a Girl Around the World” project to provide dresses for girls in vulnerable situations.

Club President Nancy McAuliffe, Valerie Forrest, Louise Luring, and Beverley Palmerine traveled to Proctorsville recently to join other Vermont club members in a sewing session, to add to the many dresses that have already been sewn by Vermonters.

The dresses are simple cotton pullovers with pockets in bright designs that are meant to inspire confidence and pride in their wearers. Dress a Girl is a campaign under Hope 4 International, a nonprofit organization working to bring dignity to women and girls at risk all over the world. Its mission is to provide every girl with at least one new dress. Dress a Girl partners with ambassadors all over the world, who help distribute the dresses. To date, over two million dresses have been delivered to 81 countries.

According to its website, Dress a Girl dreams of a world “in which every girl has at least one new dress. We want girls to know that they are worthy of respect, and that they are loved by God.”

Each dress carries the Dress a Girl logo on the pocket, which indicates that an organization is looking out for the girls and, it is hoped, will discourage predators. As the girls receive their dresses, their parents are made aware of the traps of human trafficking and how they can protect their children.

The Vermont effort was spearheaded in 2019 by Caren Helm, a member of the Fair Haven Rotary Club, who inspired 99 volunteers – most not Rotarians – who joined her in an effort to sew 100 dresses. As of October 2022, they had made more than 1,500 dresses.

Further information about the program can be found at


Back To Top