A message from Sue Buck, Chairman:

Dress A Girl Around the World wants every little girl to own at least one dress.

They ask us to sew pillowcase dresses for Hope 4 Women International to distribute around the world. Teams and partners personally deliver the dresses to hundreds of little girls dreaming of a dress.

Their young and developing bodies need to be covered and protected from those who would choose to exploit and abuse them. In Haiti, the incidence of rape has increased since the earthquake. One in four children living in Zimbabwe is orphaned as a result of parents dying of AIDS. Some of these children are preyed upon by traffickers and sold!

Past International President, Frances Sellew, shared a newspaper article with me about Virginians sewing pillowcase dresses. I had a bolt of fabric from Fides Circle in Belle Center, OH to be used for a charitable project and I went to www.dressagirlaroundtheworld.com for step-by-step directions on how to make a dress. You need fabric or a pillowcase and wide double-fold bias tape to match. Before long I had made three dresses in various sizes! It is even faster if you start with a pillowcase. Remember: if you are starting with a pillow case, slip your hand under the fabric to see if it shows through. If so, choose darker cotton or a printed fabric. White and pale colors are not suitable!

Your dress may be the only garment one little girl in a faraway place will own and will be worn every day! Take that cover off your sewing machine and let's get started!!

Click here
for the pattern.


"My kids actually look forward to going to the doctor because they know they're getting a book."
- A Reach Out and Read mother, featured in the linked video,
"One Family's Story"

Reach Out and Read promotes early literacy and school readiness to young children and their families through thousands of pediatricians in all 50 states. Each year, medical providers at the nearly 5,000 Reach Out and Read program sites nationwide distribute 6.5 million books to children and invaluable literacy advice to parents. Pediatricians "prescribe" books during well-child visits to every child 6 months through five years of age and encourage families to read. Volunteers engage children in literacy and music related activities while in the waiting area, transforming these areas into positive learning environments.

There are more than 4700 Reach Out and Read programs in the country. Focus is given to families living in poverty.

You can participate in a virtual book drive by donating $5 for a book and age group you select or by sponsoring a child with the purchase of a full, five-year Reach Out and Read program for $50. Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio has one of the largest programs in the country. The Ohio Branch made a significant donation for books in 2012.

Is your Branch looking for a literacy project?

Go to www.reachoutandread.org and look for a location near you.


Special Projects Committee member, Edith Dixon, sent me a newspaper article about a great program, Surfers Healing. She learned about the program because one of the surfer camps for children on the autism spectrum is held each summer at Folly Beach, SC. This free program attracted 200 children and their families from around the Southeast in 2012. Camps are held at beaches in Canada, Puerto Rico, Maryland, Virginia, California, Rhode Island, New Jersey, New York and Hawaii.

Surfers Healing was founded by Israel and Danielle Paskowitz. Their son, Isaiah, was diagnosed with autism at age three. Like many autistic children, he often suffered from sensory overload-- simple sensations could overwhelm him. The ocean was the one place where he seemed to find respite.

A former competitive surfer, Israel hit upon an idea--with Isaiah on the front of his surfboard, and Izzy steering from the back, the two spent the day surfing together. Surfing had a profound impact on Isaiah. Israel and Danielle decided they wanted to share this unique therapy with other autistic children. They began to host day camps at the beach where autistic children and their families could be exposed to a completely new experience.

Surfers Healing is a 501(c)(3) organization that operates on a shoestring budget. It takes approximately $75.00 per child to cover the cost of beach permits, insurance, supplies, lunch for the child and his/her family, etc.

To see pictures, read more about this unique experience, volunteer to help or make a contribution, click on www.surfershealing.org.

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The Reading Corner



Dancing With Max

by Emily Colson is a real page-turner! Emily, an artist and writer, is the daughter of Charles Colson, former aide to Richard Nixon and founder of the international ministry, Prison Fellowship.

This book is the true story of Emily, a single mother, and her 19-year-old autistic son, Max, a young man who struggles to speak.

One of my favorite chapters in the book is about their encounter with a lady driving an Audi. Not just any Audi-- same seats, same color, same year, same everything as Max's grandfather's car. You will laugh out loud as you read about Max launching himself airborne into the front seat of this stranger's car. What is most precious is the stranger's response.

Max loves not only Audis, but vacuums and refrigerators, working on the "Grunt Crew" at church, and listening to the Catholic Channel service on TV (even though they are Evangelical Christians).

This book is filled with stories about one family's struggles with autism, stories that will make you laugh and cry, stories about hope and perseverance. Reserve this one at your library or bookstore and dance along with Max and his remarkable family. You won't be able to put it down!


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