By Ukee Washington

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — A Philadelphia retiree is making something beautiful out of something ordinary: She transforms pillowcases into precious gifts for girls.

Give Dorothy Maminski a pillowcase and a sewing machine, and this is what she can create. For more than a year, she has created elaborate sundresses for needy girls from her apartment at Wesley Enhanced Living in Pennypack Park.

Dorothy, or Dot as she’s known, spent 50 years working in a sewing factory making men’s swimsuits. Now she’s 97.

“I’m the type of person that I cannot sit and do nothing,” Dot said.

The pillowcases can be plain or patterned. Dot takes her time picking the right ribbons and embellishments. Some of her creations go to girls in the Delaware Valley, while others have gone as far as Mexico.

“A lot of the little girls, they have nothing. They’re so poor,” Dot said.

“What little girl doesn’t like a pretty dress?” said Sister Virginia Wagner, a missionary servant of the Most Blessed Trinity.

She says she is grateful for Dot’s dresses. Her mission took several to Mexico to the delight of the girls.

“It really is beautiful and a reflection of the beautiful person she is,” she said.

As word spreads, people are donating pillowcases to Dot. How long does she plan to do this?

“I don’t know. As long as I’m here, I guess I’ll be making them,” Dot said.

If you would like to donate to Dot, she can use new pillowcases made of light fabric (no flannel or other warm fabrics). Drop off fabrics at Wesley Enhanced Living’s Pennypack Park location on 8401 Roosevelt Blvd., Philadelphia.

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