Stitching together: group does good for Dominican

Cassidy Chandler, Features Editor

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 In Calvary’s Care is a sponsorship program that serves youth in the mountain villages of Barahona, Dominican Republic. The ministry began in 2006 when Pastor Doug of Calvary Chapel of Delta traveled to the villages of Barahona to help teach pastors in bateys (shanty-home communities near sugarcane fields, primarily populated by Haitian immigrants).

On this trip, Pastor Doug learned that the charity that was helping Barahona’s mountain villages and families was no longer going to sponsor them. He saw how poor their living conditions were and the struggles and hardships they faced.

Shortly after Pastor Doug  returned to Delta, PA, the Calvary Chapel of Delta took over the child sponsorship program that would benefit families in the Dominican.

A resident of northern Harford County, and former teacher at North Harford,  Marisa Burman, is heavily involved with the program, Dresses for the Dominican. She described the project as, “a sewing project that is only a small part of a larger organization called In Calvary’s Care. This is a program run by Calvary Chapel of Delta.

“Our church has a sister church in Baharona,” said Burman. They travel there two to three times a year to support them. She also described the trips the Calvary Chapel of Delta takes there. “Each June, a group of our teens and some adults go there (Barahona), and other trips too.  They go for Vacation Bible School, food distribution, construction, and medical care.”
The results of the sponsorship from this local church are incredible. Families of sponsored children in the villages of Barahona receive food staples each month.  Burman commented, “We are sending them clothing as an additional gift.  We were inspired to sew for our sponsored children by participating in a larger, national ministry called Dress A Girl.”

You can find these dresses at Dress a Girl Around the World, an organization whose goal is to simply dress girls who may be unable to afford clothing or have a family to support them.
The sewing group that Burman is involved in has already made over 70 dresses to go to Uganda.  She also noted that the organization is always looking for more places to expand itself, and share more dresses. There are about 20 people who are sewing. They range in age from 13 to 70 years old.

According to those involved, this organization is a great way to volunteer in the community and do something that benefits others in another country without having to find the time or money to travel there directly.

Burman commented, “My teen daughter and I learned to sew just this year.  We both make dresses.  My mother-in-law also sews dresses, and my mother supports us as well.
If you know how to sew, then you can join the group at Calvary Chapel of Delta when we get together to make the clothing. For people interested in getting involved but can’t sew, you can also donate material and supplies to make the clothing.  You can also get involved by sponsoring a child.
Burman finds all of her involvement in charity work to be uplifting. She said, “I find it rewarding to be able to share the blessings I have.  Because Jesus first loved me, I try to love others.  I also like to connect with people for a good cause and bring people together that wouldn’t otherwise meet, even if they go to the same church.”
The only chapter of In Calvary’s Care is located in Delta, Pennsylvania, but Dress A Girl is run all over the country. Burman is the ambassador for Maryland. To get involved or learn more about this organization,  check out the Maryland Facebook page called “Dress A Girl – Maryland.”


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