OTTUMWA — Lydia Moses, 11, is a girl with a mission — to help as many Haitian children as possible.
Her first attempt far exceeded her goal of sending one child to school this year. Thanks to her initiative, two children, a boy and a girl, received the gift of a lifetime, a full year of education plus a milking goat for each of their families.
The daughter of Harold and Gina Moses and a member of Pleasant U and I Sodbusters 4-H club, Lydia’s interest in Haiti really took off this spring after seeing a picture of 10-year-old Cencia wearing the purple dress that was her first 4-H sewing project. Obviously, the dress was a hit with the beaming orphan, as well as two other little girls in the photo gazing enviously at Cencia.
Lydia chose a pillowcase dress as a 4-H project last year because “I heard Sharon Guiter and Grandma (Gwen Leatherman) talk about the project for Haiti, and I wanted to make one,” Lydia explained. “Sharon and Grandma helped me.”
“I wanted to send another dress to Haiti, but at this level in 4-H (intermediate), you can’t have exactly the same project two years in a row,” she explained earnestly. “Grandma brought up the idea of starting a program of collecting money to send a kid to school.”
It was an idea she enthusiastically embraced. Her fair exhibit, which won purple and blue ribbons respectively at the Wapello County 4-H Expo and state fair, included a floral print pillowcase dress plus the decorated collection can and a notebook containing photos of Cencia wearing last year’s project, copies of fliers and posters, as well as a detailed explanation of dress construction and the fund collection process. She is justly proud of the ribbons but is much more excited about the benefit two Haitian children are receiving due to her efforts.