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11 Year Old Sews for Needy Children

Eleven-year-old Maia L. of Torbay, New Zealand did not know how to sew until recently, but now she is almost an expert. 

A member of the Torbay Ward (congregation) of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, she was recently browsing the Church’s children’s magazine, The Friend, and was inspired by a video in the 'One in a Million' section.  The item was about Sarah, a young Mormon girl from Oklahoma, who had made 13 skirts for children in Haiti after the earthquake there.

Around the same time, Maia’s grandmother in England wrote to say that her church was sponsoring a village school in Zimbabwe, and that the children there were in need of new clothes.  They lived so remotely that there was nowhere to purchase goods.

Putting these two stories of need together, Maia decided she wanted to learn to sew skirts too, and that she would donate them to girls in the Zimbabwean village.  Maia’s mother Debbie pulled out her sewing machine and fabrics and together they searched for “simple skirt patterns” on the Internet. 

They found a pattern that only needed simple straight sewing and an elasticised waistband, and then they went to work, Debbie teaching Maia all that she needed to know to construct the simple cotton skirts.

Maia 1

Asked if she had ever sewn anything before, Maia replied, “I’d only sewn a hacky sack, and that was by hand.  I hadn’t used a sewing machine before.” 

Maia has now completed eight skirts, and has another four in progress.  She aims to complete a further two to make a total of 14 skirts, which will then get shipped to her grandmother for sending to the village.   

Read about Latter-day Saint resources and programs to help children and youth.

Read about Latter-day Saint humanitarian efforts worldwide.

Story contributed by Lynne Hutchison.


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