A local is putting her sewing skills to work for numerous little girls she probably will never meet.
Roene Blankenship, a volunteer and humanitarian in Carthage, has a big heart. She has helped in any way she can for years with an organization called “C.U.R.E.” (Compassionate Utilization of Resources.)
C.U.R.E., has been a non-profit organization based in Fort Smith, Ark., with all volunteers and an outreach of Westark Church of Christ since 1996. The organization has provided medical supplies and equipment to 43 different countries. Joining the program's efforts is Mt. Hope Church of Christ, in Webb City, where Blankenship is a member. Connecting C.U.R.E., with Little Dresses for Africa, Blankenship has been sewing pillowcases into adorable, little dresses to send overseas for the past couple years.
“It's not a handout, it's a hand up,” she said. “That's why I do it. All we can do is share the love of God and Jesus Christ to the people who really need it.
“They're (the dresses) are not hard to make, and those little girls will treasure them,” Blankenship continued. “That smile is priceless. These little girls, especially in third world countries, are treated like dirt. Women and girls are not valued members in their homes, and so when you send a dress you're sending hope, self-esteem and love. For some, I know this seems hard to believe, but this may be the only new piece of clothing they'll ever receive.”
Blankenship first heard of the little dresses program through Nancy Zieman's sewing show on PBS. Blankenship encourages anyone interested in the program to visit www.nancysnotions.com for sewing tips. Or, if anyone in the community would like to join the effort, Blankenship currently has 4,660 pillowcases waiting to be turned into little dresses.
Already, Blankenship says there are neighbors helping in some form with the program.
“It's funny how things inner connect and all work out,” Blankenship said. “You meet neat people and it's encouraging because these people have pure character and truly want to help others in need.”
To contact Blankenship, call her at 358-9578. For more information, visit www.littledressesforafrica.org, or call (734) 637-9064.