Blessing by Design

July 20, 2016 11:34 am Published by

She was a too-thin little girl who came to us with just the dress on her back. Even the sandals on her
feet had just been purchased by the social welfare officer, who removed her from the home that couldn’t meet her needs.

Salma came with nothing. Nothing but a smile that will crack your heart wide open, a mind craving to learn, and a spirit that even her rough start in life couldn’t break.

Salma has flourished on JBFC’s campus. Three square meals a day has started to fill out her small frame. And she’s picking up English faster than I would have thought possible. She shines as she helps lead prayer, adding her little soprano voice to her sisters, like she’s lived here her whole life instead of just a few months.

But while we’ve wrapped her in our love, she mostly wears hand-me-downs too large for her petite frame.

Which is just one of the reasons the call we received from Gretchen Scott Designs has meant so much to our family.

Designer Gretchen Scott called JBFC’s office last month and told me she wanted to donate some of her clothes to JBFC. I tried to explain we have nearly 60 ladies on campus, including girls and matrons. She insisted she wanted to donate hundreds of items to JBFC. I told Gretchen that I didn’t want to ask for too much. And I really didn’t. But all I could think of were JBFC’s girls. We’re now 51 girls strong… more than half of them teenagers. We’ve seen so many growth spurts in the last year that many of our girls have outgrown their clothes. So when Gretchen insisted on providing multiple outfits for all of our girls and our matrons, all I could say was thank you and send up a prayer of gratitude. This offer couldn’t have come at a better time for girls like Salma and her sisters.

Our volunteers from Bronxville High School worked with Gretchen Scott Designs to bring the donations to JBFC in Tanzania. When they started unloading all of the bags of clothes, my heart swelled. It was overwhelming. 558 dresses plus more than 60 cloth bags. We were able to provide every single girl on campus with new clothes and every matron got something (they seemed truly tickled to be included).

Our girls’ faces lit up as they went through their bags and discovered the brightly-colored tunics, shirts, and dresses. They squealed as they took off to try things on and all started cracking up when several of them came out of the dorms dressed in the same outfits.

It was Christmas in July.

I cannot express how much it meant to our girls to have these new clothes. I saw one of our matrons walking in her brand-new tunic and I complimented her on her outfit. She got the biggest smile on her face!

And then there was little Salma.

She couldn’t stop smiling when she opened her bag full of clothes. She put on her new outfit. Then fashioned herself a flower crown and dissolved into a fit of giggles.

Thank you Gretchen Scott Designs for your generous heart and helping make some girls and women halfway across the world feel beautiful and special!

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This post was written by Mainsprings