HOLT, Mich. —
Linda Mahan is passionate about sewing dresses and giving them away. But it’s not just a few dresses; Linda says she gives away hundreds of dresses every year.
“There are 25 in each bag and I have so many already finished. I probably have about a 100 right now. I don’t know where the dresses will end up.”
Linda started her hobby somewhat accidentally. Her grandmother taught her to sew years ago, but it wasn’t until she watched a television program that her hobby turned into a passion.
“I watched a show on PBS called Sewing with Nancy, and she was making dresses called little dresses for Africa. She provided a pattern. And then I saw another video that taught me how to make pillowcase dresses. They are basically the same thing. So, I just thought that doesn't sound hard. There's no zippers; there's no buttons and there's no darts and there's no waistband. I said I think I can do that. It’s not complicated. So, I just started making them and then I didn't know what to do with them. Connie, my friend, said, “maybe my Son's Church would be interested in them because they do missions and it just blossomed from there.”
Linda’s been making and donating the dresses for about five years. She has developed relationships with non-profits and churches. Once she has made several dresses, she will ship them to the organizations that then send the finished product to little girls in the United States and across the globe.
Linda’s friend Connie Swix couldn’t be prouder of her friend.
“She just donates her time and energies to the less fortunate and they happen to be hundreds and thousands of little girls that need clothing. She makes dresses of all different sizes and they go to all different countries. It’s her passion.”
Linda says when COVID hit, things changed.
“I was still sewing, but I couldn’t send the dresses anywhere. So, right before COVID hit, the mission in Haiti took 250 dresses. All of 2020, I couldn’t give them to anybody because I couldn’t go anywhere. Not too long ago, I found out one group is resuming their mission trips to Haiti. I gave them 575 dresses; they had been piling up.”
Once Linda is finished making a dress, she irons it and folds it for shipping.
Linda goes through a lot of fabric and is always looking for more. If you have material and would like to help Linda, you can email her at email@example.com.
“The fact that some little girl is going to smile when they say here’s a dress for you. That makes me want to make ten more.”
Linda Mahan, we say thank you for turning your passion into something that helps others. You are this week’s Good Neighbor!
Want to see all of our Good Neighbors segments? click here.
If you know someone that is doing amazing things and helping other people in your neighborhood, please let me know. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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