Eliza’s vision to help dress hundreds of girls
FROM clothes for family, friends and even childhood dolls, Eliza Leahy's sewing machine has paid its way in love down through the years.
Two years ago, when her mother, Irene Milliner, lost her battle with cancer, she inherited the machine and wanted to do something with it to memorialise her mum.
"It just hit me that there are children out there who don't have a shop to go to get nice new clothes," Ms Leahy said.
So after hunting for the perfect charity, Ms Leahy picked Dress a Girl Around the World and her goal of more than 100 dresses, 50 t-shirts, 50 pairs of shorts and 50 tote bags will be sent to wherever in the world the organisation needs them.
Her only wish is her mum could be sewing by her side to help these children.
"I think she would be really happy with the use the machine is getting," she said.
To help get started, Ms Leahy, who is on a disability pension, realised it was too expensive to fund the material, so she put out a call on the Sunny Coast Community board on Facebook for help.
"Well, I have so much material, from little strips to six-metre length rolls of material," she said.
"I had eight packing boxes full of material that had never been opened. I washed for five days non-stop."
Ms Leahy was overwhelmed and in tears when she saw the response.
"We wake and think what are we going to wear today and if we don't find what we want we can just go to Kmart or even an op shop," she said.
"I saw a photo of some kids that looked like they were wearing a sack. These kids don't have to choose what to wear; they are already wearing it."
Ms Leahy, who learnt to sew as a girl with her mum, has already created 48 dresses to put a smile on little girls' faces across the world. Now she needs to post it all.
Kickstart, a crowd-funding organisation, has picked up her project and she is eagerly awaiting support so she can post the items.