Be the change you want to see

Published 2:28 pm Wednesday, January 17, 2018

By Dawn Burleigh

As Tad McKee accepted his new position as Chairman of the Greater Orange Area Chamber of Commerce in December, he announced the theme for the coming year is ‘Be the change you want to see.’

For the betterment of Orange, be the change you want to see.

A number of years, the Chamber has strived to educate citizens on the importance of shopping locally. We all know it can be a challenge at times but more are thinking Orange County first before driving over the bridges or clicking a button on the web.

We all want to see change and it has to begin somewhere.

Waiting for the next person to ‘pick up the torch’ leaves all of us wanting.

Two years ago, I was moved when I learned the Salvation Army would not be holding the annual Doll Tea that year due to the lack of response.

The Doll Tea was an annual event where residents could see the handiwork of seamstress and crocheters through out the county as the handmade dresses were shown off for the public before given to the children in the county.

Maybe you have not heard of the event, or had the pleasure of attending, but it was a magnificent sight to walk into the room and see the exceptional talent as fabric and yarn were reconstructed into priceless outfits for the dolls.

I understand there was a ‘contest’ where the best dress, best casual wear, best overall, and other such categories were available so those who took the time throughout the year to make the dresses.

I enjoyed covering the tea, seeing the outfits and talking to the dressmakers. I have also missed the event the last two years. I understand why it did not happen last December. With the recovery from Harvey, it was not really an option for dressmakers or the organization.

The more I thought about what McKee said, the more I knew I wanted to see a change and knew where I had to start.

While I have no idea at this time if the Doll Tea will happen this coming December, I will be ready. I have already selected patterns and yarn to work on dresses throughout the year. Even if the Doll Tea does not happen, at least a few more dolls will have dresses made with love for the children who might not have a Christmas otherwise.

As a chain reaction, it will lessen the number of toys that have to be bought, thus allowing the Salvation Army funds to be used on just as important needs.

A great deal of funding for the organization was lost when Harvey destroyed the store on MacArthur Drive.

By being the change you want to see in the community, it has a positive impact on you, your neighborhood, the city and the county as a whole.

While it may not be doll dresses for you, you can still make a difference.

What will you do to be the change you want to see in Orange?

Dawn Burleigh is editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at