It is not uncommon for a mission group to bring clothes to a foreign country for the children who live there. But the way Wynnton United Methodist Church in Columbus is doing it is a little different.
The women at the church are making the clothes. They have sewing machines humming and are turning colorful pillow cases, cotton fabric, ribbon, elastic and thread into wonderful dresses and short pants.
Some women sew at the church one day a week, while others prefer to sew at home.
A few who are working on the project do not sew but come in to cut fabric and iron the clothes, which are kept on a rack near the church's fellowship hall.
In July, a youth group will be taking the clothes to Pinder's Point in the Bahamas. There, the teens will work on constructing a home or church, as well as helping to lead Bible school.
The idea for making the clothes came from Frank Parr, the church's senior pastor, and his wife, Beth.
They saw the idea work at their previous stop, Isle of Hope United Methodist Church in Savannah, Ga.
"This way, the children get something fresh and new," the pastor said. "It will be their clothes. It will not be something that has been worn by someone else. We want the children to feel special."
One of the women involved in the sewing is Martha Daffin. She believes the children will find the clothes special for another reason.
"They will appreciate that someone took the effort to make the clothes for them," she said.
Parr said many of the children have uniforms for school but do not have many play clothes. They also do not have a lot of footwear, so the group will be bringing flip-flops on the trip.
The pastor's wife initiated the program in May, focusing on what was needed. She said she knew those going on the mission would like to leave something behind for the children.
"We are shooting for 100 dresses and 100 pairs of shorts," she said. "We have to be finished by July 6."
Currently, about 70 dresses and 30 pairs of shorts have been completed.
"A lot of people are getting involved," she said. "I find this exciting."
Lynn White, a retired teacher, is leading the effort.
"We are making clothes for boys and girls of all sizes," White said. "Some of the patterns have been found on the Internet."
She said all of the material has been donated by church members. Some have bought material for the cause.
There have been no drapes donated, but White said there is some draping material. White said it is not difficult to convert the pillow cases into nice dresses.
"Really, just cut off the top," she said.
She said some of the women sewing do like to get "real fancy."
When making pants, she said, the women are sure to make pockets.
"Boys have got to have a place to put rocks," she said.
Daffin said she loves to sew and does a lot of it. She called this a fun project.
It is not just the sewing that has made the project special, she said.
"There has been some wonderful fellowship," White said.