Washougal sewing circle makes dresses, saves lives


WASHOUGAL, Wash. (KOIN) — A group of women in Washougal is making sure girls around the world have new dresses. Not only because these girls have little to no clothing, but also to keep them safe from sex traffickers.

This is an image of Cleta Gilman, who sews dresses with fellow parishioners at Washougal United Methodist Church

Cleta Gilman and other women from Washougal United Methodist Church make dresses for Hope International’s Dress a Girl Around the World Program.

They’ve created 120 dresses so far, which could go to any of the 81 countries in the program, including the US. But these dresses are more than just clothes. Inside each garment is a Dress a Girl label.

“Because of the sex trade and the stealing of young girls, Hope International has found if they have this label on their dresses, somebody that comes to steal a girl will see that label and know they’re connected to somebody else. They don’t take that girl,” says Gilman.

This is an image of the walls at Washougal United Methodist Church

Gilman says the program is very rewarding, and even people who can’t sew like to pitch in.

“Sometimes people who can’t sew and want to be part of the mission, that’s what they will do, they will give us fabric.”

Gilman’s group plans to ship the dresses later this month.

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