Named after her mother, Dottie, who was incredibly talented in her crafts, Dottie’s Designs is Rhonda’s business that specializes in custom embroidery and one-of-a-kind gifts. After caring for her father and grandmother, Rhonda also took care of her mother during the final stages of Alzheimer’s until she recently passed away.
Giving a portion of all proceeds to one of the two charities, Rhonda loves being able to make a difference. Hero Rescue helps dogs in need find forever homes. She is currently fostering a tiny chihuahua who initially needed medical attention but is now ready for a family. Rhonda was able to create a basket full of hand-crafted goodies to auction off to assist with the medical bills for little Bernardo.
Her other passion, Missions in Action, has been supporting the people of Honduras for over 20 years and has become a labor of love for Rhonda, alongside her childhood friend. After a visit in February 1998, board members of M.I.A. decided to make a true commitment to help locally, person to person. At that time, children were seen wearing rags for clothing and running barefoot, and the board members wanted to physically help in whatever way they could. Missions in Action continues to work with local communities to find people who are in desperate need of assistance. They have been helping families in Honduras in whatever capacity is needed—building homes, supporting school sponsorship programs, and empowering ladies in the area.
Rhonda and others have provided sewing machines and sewing supplies as well as teaching ladies the skillset to use them. Honduran mothers are then able to sew uniforms, which are mandatory, for the children to attend school. Some ladies have been creating beautiful purses which are then brought back to the U.S. to sell so that the proceeds can go back into their community. With these funds, they have been able to provide breakfast and lunches for the school children. Because the schools are so far away, the children must be able to afford lunch since they will not be able to go home to eat.
Helping the ladies develop a way to earn money has touched Rhonda’s heart and has given her a passion to want to do more. The ladies there put in a hard day of labor for a mere 14 or 15 cents per day, but learning a new trade opens up lots of opportunities for them, as well as providing clothes for their families.
Rhonda lights up when she speaks about the programs that help the families in Honduras, describing those she has met over the years on trips to assist. “The people are so giving and generous. When one person begins a project, everyone wants to jump in and help,” she explains. Covid has had a tremendous impact on the community there, and Rhonda says they need our help more than ever. The transportation in Honduras is all public and consists of drivers with a pickup truck stopping along the way for people to hop in the back. Once Covid hit, all transportation was prohibited and people couldn’t get to their jobs, which affected entire families. Rhonda says they saw a difference in the children especially; they got thinner and thinner. Thankfully, Rhonda says that things are starting to open up again recently, and people are allowed back to work.
The sewing center in the community will be a way that ladies can help provide food for their families. Rhonda recently raffled off a basket of items she had created to collect money for helping one particular lady they had met in the Honduras community. Miss Roxanne is a caring and generous older lady who is always helping others. With the proceeds, they were able to purchase a sewing machine and supplies for Miss Roxanne, even taking her to the local market to purchase fabric. The following day, they had sewing class to teach Miss Roxanne and another lady the basics of sewing. Seeing the impact on helping one person at a time is amazing.
Here at home, Rhonda creates custom layette sets for babies and has recently done creative collections such as animal themes on bibs, booties, hooded towels, rattles, and blankets. She also designs beautiful beach bags, towels, and adorable stuffed animals, among other things. She sells them on her social media sites and at local craft fairs. Rhonda has a servant’s heart and is always finding new ways to give back and provide real assistance to those in need.
Visit Dottie’s Designs on FB and IG to see how you can help out or purchase some of these adorable custom creations.