Thank you for considering donating to our campaign.
Sooo, I am very nervous right now but I decided to swallow all my pride and ask for your help in reaching my goal. My name is April Hickman. I am the creator of Wonderfulee Marlee, a handmade children's clothing company I started while living at the Salvation Army with my two girls Marlee (3) and Michilee (2).
I have been given the opportunity to attend New York Fashion Week September 7th-11th, and have my girls be a part of the modeling conference and walk down the runway in my designs. This opportunity will help me become a designer for next year's show as well as building my brand, Wonderfulee Marlee. The funds will pay for registration fees, hotel fees, car rental and gas to travel to and from Louisville, KY to NYC.
This is a big deal for us. A life changer. Building our brand means getting out of poverty and homelessness. My girls have lived in a homeless shelter their whole life. Your support will help my girls and me on the journey to getting our own home and becoming self sufficient. I want to use my God-given gifts to end the cycle of poverty right now.
That was the short story version. Here's the long story:
In 2011 I was diagnosed with schizoeffective disorder, PTSD, and anxiety disorder. Just a year prior I felt my whole being falling apart. I was making bad decisions, not taking my medication properly as I was ashamed and mad for needing them in the first place. I struggled with abandonment issues, still dealing with the trauma of sexual abuse, despression, and even suicide. I believed in God but I often wondered if He believed in me. Yeah, it was not a great time in my life.
It was then that I found myself pregnant, alone and scared. I knew I had to change. I chose life for my daughter Marlee, one of the best decisions I have ever made in life. I thank God for that. He led me to people who prayed with me, encouraged me and walked along side me.
I began my journey of sewing when Marlee was just a couple of months old. I sat at a friend's sewing machine all day learning how to make a tube for a skirt. I couldn't stop there. I found some lace in her fabric bin and created a lace overlay. My final creation was this small blue and pink skirt with a bow on the back. The cutest thing I had ever seen. I was so proud. I even created a headband to match. I was so proud. I was hooked. Sewing became a lifesaver for me. However, due to homelessness I wasn't able to sew the way I would have liked to. It would be a year later before sewing would enter into my life again. With a one year old and a newborn, I found myself living at the Salvation Army. It was my caseworker at the time who took notice of the clothing I had sewed previously. With her encouragement I got into a microbusiness class and any other class that would help me. I was able to get my own sewing machine and fabric (I worked at Joanns Fabric Store.)
It has not been easy. As the girls grew our room at the Salvation Army became too small to consistantly sew in. Unable to afford sewing space, sewing slowed down and I felt that I had come to a stand still. That brings us to now. I decided I wasn't going to give up. Waiting for all of our circumstances to fall into place might mean I miss the perfect opportunity like this years NYC Fashion Week.
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