Thursday, July 12, 2012

Old hotel pillowcases get new life in Haiti

Who knew old hotel pillowcases could have a second life - and such a useful one?
The Embassy Suites hotel in the Charlotte area recently won the chain's top honor for a charity effort that involved converting old pillowcases into colorful dresses for girls in impoverished Haiti.
Courtesy Embassy Suites Charlotte/Concord
Last fall, the 308-room Embassy Suites Charlotte/Concord Golf Resort & Spa worked with a church group to create about 450 dresses mostly with old hotel pillowcases. The hotel donated about 300 pillowcases for the project.
Hotel general manager Terry Crawford credits longtime employee Frank Bethea, a hotel bellman and member of the Greater Providence Road Baptist Church in Charlotte. He brought the partnership idea to the hotel. His church has been active in helping Haiti for years and had come up with this idea after the earthquake, Crawford says.
"We said, that's a great idea. We have the pillowcases. We discard linen everyday," Crawford says. "So we said let's combine our material with their skill set."
For a while, the six-year-old hotel provided an area for producing the dresses. Church members also dyed some of the dresses so each girl would have a different style.
In March, Crawford told me, the church sent more than 450 dresses to its ministry in Haiti for distribution.

By Barbara De Lollis, USA TODAY

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