People who use their passion for the greater good have always been inspiring to me. So it was no surprise that I was touched by the story of 99-year-old Lillian Weber, who has become a media sensation recently. Every day she sews a new dress for a young girl in need.
In just the past two years alone, Lillian has created more than 840 personalized dresses for the nonprofit organization Little Dresses for Africa. Her plan is to celebrate her 100th birthday on May 6, 2015 with the completion of her 1000th dress, though she doesn’t plan on slowing down once she hits this milestone.
Lillian is not only a model for taking a passion and turning it into a hobby that serves a bigger purpose; she is also a wonderful example of a senior who isn’t slowing down because of her age. She dedicates her entire day to creating, sewing and personalizing these dresses – this is hardly easy work!
Many would expect Lillian to live a more relaxed lifestyle at her age. But to her, this daily labor of love only makes sense. She says there is no reason for her to do nothing when she can be helping others. She says she plans on continuing her work until she is no longer able to do so. Lillian is a lovely example of making a meaningful impact regardless of age, refusing to let a number define her and prohibit her from using her skills and passion to help others. It just goes to show that paying it forward is something we can all strive for at any age.
Lillian does what she does because it means something to her to make dresses for girls in need. The extra love and personalization she puts into every dress she makes is touching and inspiring. She reminds us how important it is to give back and make the world a better place for all. We don’t have to create 1,000 dresses, but we can each find our own unique way to make a contribution.
Take your passion, select a cause that is meaningful to you and find an organization that combines the two. If you enjoy sewing like Lillian, you could create dresses for Little Dresses for Africa. If you love animals, volunteer at a local shelter. If you enjoy seniors, see if a local senior living community has volunteer opportunities. All it takes to start changing the world or someone’s life is that first step–or, like Lillian, that first dress.
Here is Lillian on WQAD News 8: