Christian Academy of Indiana senior Julia Lostutter shares why she’s seeking the community’s assistance and how you can help.
BY JULIA LOSTUTTER | COURTESY PHOTOS
Last year, I had the opportunity of going to the Dominican Republic on a school mission trip with Score International. Going into the villages and orphanages and seeing the devastation of poverty truly broke my heart.
One thing I noticed most of all was the hardships that a significant number of women and young girls face there. Many young girls are seen only as being good for having children and were growing up with no other life skills, forcing them into prostitution as a means to make money.
This terrible reality has stuck with me and filled my thoughts since June of last year. I am currently planning my return trip to the Dominican this summer, and I really wanted to think of a way to bless these young girls and women who had tugged at my heart so many months ago.
Recently, my boss, Olivia Rice, the owner of Styleheir, a new women’s clothing boutique located in Floyds Knobs, was looking for a place to donate some of her own children’s clothes. She wanted to give them to other little ones who were in real need. As we talked, my thoughts went immediately to the girls in the Dominican Republic and, specifically, girls in an orphanage that I had visited. Many orphanages for girls go underfunded because the government turns its resources elsewhere, thus creating a need for things as simple as clothing.
The girl’s orphanage that we had visited, Pasitos de Jesus, is located in Boca Chica and was started by a woman named Dalma Florian. It houses girls with disabilities and girls taken from homes of abuse. It started with just one girl but quickly included dozens, ages one to 18. Remembering the impact that Pasitos de Jesus orphanage had on the girls’ lives made me want to bless them even more and ensure that a basic need of theirs was met.
How To Help
Drop off clothing for girls of all sizes at Styleheir, 3620 Paoli Pike, Suite 6, in Floyds Knobs, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 11-16. You can find more about the boutique by searching @styleheir on Facebook.
After speaking with Olivia about my desire to help, my boss at Styleheir eagerly agreed to involving her boutique’s involvement. So, I began creating something that will hopefully be a blessing to these girls and women for years to come.
“Chicas de Boca Chica” is Styleheir’s first-ever clothing drive, which will help to clothe the girls of a nation stricken by poverty and misfortune. Girls’ clothing of all sizes is needed and those who bring in at least one bag of clothing will receive a scratch-off worth up to 30 percent off a store purchase at Styleheir. Clothing can be dropped off at Styleheir from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 11-16.
The clothing will be taken by the Christian Academy of Indiana mission’s team to the Dominican Republic on June 9 and given to the girls of Pasitos de Jesus.
By doing this clothing drive, I hope we – and that means I need your help! – can provide the orphanage clothing for years to come, spread the message of women’s empowerment, garner attention towards the orphanage and bring about change in the lives of these girls.
Writer Julia Lostutter is a senior at Christian Academy of Indiana.