Sewing Stations at Calvary Portales

Calvary Baptist Church, Portales, recently participated in a "Dress A Girl Around the World" campaign. Hope 4 Women International sponsors the campaign.

PORTALES (BNM) – Calvary Baptist Church, Portales, recently participated in a "Dress A Girl Around the World" campaign. Hope 4 Women International sponsors the campaign.

Calvary hosted its campaign workshop on Saturday, Sept. 12, in the church's fellowship hall. Calvary invited anyone who loved to sew and had a heart for missions to come. Participants brought a sack lunch and a sewing machine. Some people brought sewing supplies and fabric, but the organization had pre-made kits for each participant.

Aileen McAlister, a member of Calvary and project leader for the church' Operation Christmas Child, saw a post on Facebook about Dress A Girl Around the World. She immediately sent an email inquiring about the campaign. McAlister said she promptly received a response with the email address of an ambassador in Farmington.

McAlister contacted Kim Isabel, who said they could send completed dresses for the Operation Christmas Child project this year. During the conversation, Isabel mentioned that they planned to hold a workshop at a church in Portales. However, the church had not re-opened since the pandemic began. She asked if Calvary would host the workshop. McAlister cleared the idea with Brad Morgan, the church's pastor, and put it on the calendar.

The promotion of the event was simple, according to McAlister. She made five phone calls that day and already had nine ladies signed up for the workshop. Each said they would talk to different people, and they quickly had a group of ladies ready to sew from across Portales. In all, there were over 20 ladies, representing five churches in the city. "Promotion came by word of mouth," McAlister said. "God did this because I just made five phone calls."

Four ambassadors from Farmington arrived with ready-made kits for each seamstress, taught and helped each seamstress complete a dress. Each dress took approximately four hours to complete. The workshop provided three easy patterns from which to choose.

The church plans to include the dresses in their Operation Christmas Child boxes this Christmas. The ambassadors donated 68 complete dresses for the church's boxes. The ladies completed 10-12 dresses at the workshop, and others took their projects home to finish.

Calvary packs its Operation Christmas Child boxes in the next few weeks with goodies for each child, including approximately 80 complete dresses for girls.

McAlister said the group plans to meet again soon to make up more kits, so women can take the kits home and continue making dresses. The group agreed to sew dresses for another church group in Portales planning to go on a mission trip to Ethiopia next year to give girls dresses in person. At the workshop, ladies said that they have extra fabric on hand and would love to use it for missions. 

Hope 4 Women sponsors the Dress A Girl Around the World campaign. Hope 4 Women International is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt, nondenominational Christian organization. Their website says, "We dream 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." Participants in the workshops help that dream come true and bless girls across the globe.

Churches interested in hosting a workshop can find instructions online at The instructions give options of a location for the workshop, whom to invite, guidelines for the event, materials needed and instructions for setting up sewing stations. The website encourages organizers to pray for the ministry and know that it belongs to God. It also suggests, after completing the details, to relax and have fun, encourage everyone to give their best, celebrate each completed dress and remember to pray for the recipient girls. 

Joy Pittman is circulation assistant with the Baptist New Mexican news journal and, news and information outlets for the Baptist Convention of New Mexico.

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