Frequently Asked Questions
1) How do I start a group?
Gather your friends, family, co-workers, church group, etc and have a fun night of sewing once a week, monthly or do a one-time marathon. Email us and let us know what you are doing. Also let us know your meeting dates and we will put them on the calendar on this site.
2) What Difference Does a Dress Make?
By providing a new dress you may well be changing a young girl’s destiny. We all know that a new dress makes us feel good, so imagine never having had one! A new dress tells each precious girl that God loves them, that someone else loves them enough to have made this dress especially for them. THAT makes a difference in how she feels about herself and can definitely change her destiny.
In addition, village pastors tell us that a girl wearing new dress presents an appearance that she is well cared for and may discourage would-be predators. Since we attach our Dress a Girl label on the outside of each dress, it sends an additional message that each girl is under the care of an organization, giving her added protection from those who would harm her, predators or traffickers.
3) Once we make the dresses where do we send them?
We have Ambassadors in many locations in the US and International Partners in many countries. These wonderful volunteers will be happy to receive your dresses and make sure that they get to the girls!! Here are the links to both of the groups:
If you do not have one of these volunteers near you you can also send your dresses to our headquarters. If you choose this option, please include $1 per dress to help offset our costs.
Hope 4 Women International
PO Box 14
Forest City, IA 50436
4) How many should we make?
There is no minimum number. Just make sure you send us God's best by putting all your care into good, quality dresses that meet our Guidelines
5) What color fabric should we use?
Dresses can be any color! Use your gift of creativity to make the cutest dress possible! However there are some fabric designs that we cannot accept. Again, please refer to the Guidelines for these exceptions.
6) What type of fabric is best?
Please only use 100% cotton or a cotton/polyester blend that is not thin (see-through).
7) Do I use pillowcases?
While we started with pillowcases, we no longer use them for dresses for several reasons.
a. They are expensive!
b. Many are now made of microfiber, which is not a good fabric for a dress.
c. They are narrower than our suggested width of 44" width fabric (21-22 when folded on the selvage).
d. Fabric is much less expensive and available in so many more cute colors and patterns!
8) Are the dresses shipped to other countries?
Ministries, missionaries, individuals, and humanitarian teams hand carry the dresses to the various countries. Also, Hope 4 Kids International leads teams into several countries each year. We go to Uganda three times a year.
9) Why do you not just ship dresses instead of hand-carrying them?
Our dresses are hand-carried and delivered to the fields because we want to individually present a dress to each girl personally. Usually we slip the dress on over their ragged clothing, telling each girl that God loves them and that someone who cares about them made this dress especially for them. THEN we watch the transformation before our eyes as the girls realize their dignity!
10) What are you doing in the United States?
Our Dress a Girl Ambassadors give clothing to their local abuse and homeless shelters.
· We send warm clothing to the Lakota children in South Dakota.
· We give clothing in areas of poverty such as Douglas, AZ.
· We give dresses to Indian reservations in the Tucson, AZ area.
· We give quilts and clothing to missions in Appalachia.
· We take mission trips to the Appalachia region to give dresses and to hold day spas; teach women to sew; do outreaches with the elderly and the children; and carry out construction and painting projects with the locals.
11) What do you do for boys?
We love boys too! But our ministry is to girls, who in most of these countries have little to no value simply because of their sex. They can be bought and sold with no thought to their personal dignity as girls/women. In addition, we have been told by local pastors that having the girls dresses nicely and the Dress a Girl label prominently attached to a dress indicates that these girls are under the care of an organization & it could help to deter would-be predators and traffickers. In addition, simply because of her gender, a girl in rags is more of a concern than a boy in rags. Other ministries for boys exist, but we try to done one thing and do it well!
12) How is Dress-A-Girl funded?
We rely on donations from you. We don't charge ministries/groups for supplying them with dresses. This is part of the ministry of Hope 4 Women International. We are funded solely through your tax-deductible donations to Hope 4 Women International. This can be done online, or you can send a check to:
Hope 4 Women International
(Put Dress A Girl in the memo line)
PO Box 14
Forest City, IA 50436
13) Do I receive a tax deduction for contributing dresses?
Yes. We will send you an in-kind receipt and list the items donated. You will determine the value and put the receipt in with your tax-deductible items. Please request a receipt when mailing dresses. Sometime when groups combine to make/mail the dresses they don?t wish to receive a receipt.
14) Will I know where my dresses are going?
Sorry, but because of the high volume of dresses going out we can't guarantee where your individual dresses will be sent. We regularly post pictures of distribution on this site, so check back to see if you see your dress! (Dresses purchased through our buy a dress--give a dress program are hand carried by our founder, Rachel Eggum Cinader. She takes special care to take photos of girls wearing those dresses. For more information, visit our web store.)
Please contact us if you have additional questions!