GLENDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS5) -- Sharon Gallego likes to sew, and sew, and sew some more. But the dresses she makes aren't going to any of her grandchildren. They're all to be donated to girls in poor countries, who barely have enough to eat.
"In India especially, they have one dress for the household, so whoever is going out that day gets to wear that dress," said Gallego. "The impact of that just tears my heart out that we might be able to give each little girl their own dress."
Over the past 10 years, the Glendale grandmother, with the help of other volunteers around the world, has made more than 11 million dresses, as part of the non-profit group, "Dress A Girl."
In fact, Gallego has visited several third-world countries and delivered many of her dresses in person. "To be able to see them run away with happy faces, oh, nothing does my heart more good," said Gallego.
But the kindness from this 79-year old seamstress isn't limited to just dresses. For the past few months, Gallego has made more than 1,000 masks for health care workers and families hit hard by COVID-19. "The last outreach was to the Navajo Nation," said Gallego. "We took 400 masks up there because they're required to wear masks."
Vicki McDermitt has seen first hand Gallego's non-stop devotion to helping others, so she reached out to CBS 5 to Pay it Forward to Gallego and give her a $500 gift card. "She understands that the happiest people are the people that give their lives away - give their lives to other people that do whatever they can," said McDermitt. "When they can make something better for someone else."
A CBS 5 news camera was rolling when McDermitt showed up at Gallego's house for the big surprise. "What an incredible gift you are to us who know and love you, and to the community and people who will never know you," McDermitt told Gallego. "I reached out to Channel 5 and they said they would consider my dear friend Sharon for your Pay it Forward program. So I have the great honor to present to you my beautiful friend $500."
"I like that I can see a need and jump in and fill it, and I do," said Gallego."
"I think everybody should spend a week with Sharon because we could learn how to live," said McDermitt.