County sending hope to Africa

Erin Smith Staff writer

November 17, 2013

ELIZABETHTOWN — Pillowcases can have many uses besides the obvious ones including dresses.

While many folks may scratch their collective heads at the idea of making dresses from pillowcases, Clara Adams said it is an idea she was introduced about nearly two years ago.

“A lady talked to me about it and I didn’t think much of it at the time. She came to me and said, ‘Clara it would be nice if you made pillowcase dresses for Africa,’” said Adams, owner of Clara’s Corner on U.S. 701 North between Elizabethtown and White Lake.

That lady, Nanlouise Harcourt, visited area businesses spreading the idea and left eight pillowcases with Adams, who in turn told her customers about the idea — and they responded by bringing more pillowcases.

“In the beginning I didn’t know about it. I took my pillowcases and hers and got started cutting out the pattern, Then people started bringing more pillowcases,” said Adams.

Adams said that she got started with the original pillowcases she was given and took some more pillowcases from her shop. As her customers learned of the mission, they brought her more pillowcases to sew.

“So far, I’ve done 50 pillowcases,” said Adams.

Signlogic has been gracious enough to assist in the efforts by embroidering a Bible scripture onto the dresses, she added.

Adams said folks are still bringing pillowcases for the effort. She plans to have a second shipment of about 50 more dresses ready soon.

“Everybody I’ve asked has brought in pillowcases,” said Adams.

She said that she is pleased with the outcome of the ministry thus far.

“When I first had my sign put up that Clara’s Corner and my building was put up, I asked the Lord to send me a ministry,” said Adams.

She said that she makes clothing and offers free clothing to folks in need and she had a longing to become involved with some type of ministry.

“Here it is,” she said of the pillowcase dresses for Africa.

Little Dresses for Africa was a project started by Rachel O’Neill to bring simple dresses to girls in orphanages, churches and schools throughout Africa to let them know they are “worthy.”

For information, to make a donation, or download a pattern, go to