Dust Off Those Dresses!

www.modestbydesign.comIt’s that time of year again. We’ve started hearing of formal events in the halls and may have begun receiving invitations to weddings and banquets. And something starts to fill our minds––what to wear! We talk and plan and shop. For many of us, new clothes are exciting, and something as rare as getting to choose a new formal dress is even more so. But sadly, there are plenty of girls who approach this time with hesitation. Many do not get to enjoy the fun time of browsing with friends and shopping with Mom because they cannot afford to do so.

If you’re anything like me, spring also introduces another feeling––the desire to clean out my stuff! Without even thinking about it, I realize as spring approaches, that I have an urge to get rid of my stuff. Maybe it’s because I’ve been cooped up all winter looking at it. Or maybe it’s the freshness of the season that makes me want to simplify. Regardless, it coincides perfectly with a great project for this month––a dress drive!

There is nothing worse than having stuff in my closet that I know I’ll probably never wear again, but that I don’t know what to do with. This year, as you’re out looking at new dresses for your occasion, consider those who won’t be doing that same thing because of cost or other reasons. Start by letting your friends know that you’ll be organizing a dress drive to collect formal dresses for girls who need them. Research beforehand, or with friends, an organization you’d like to support. There are many to choose from, provided simply by going online and looking up “formal dress drive.” The options range from collecting for cancer patients to those who have lost homes and possessions in natural disasters. Whichever you choose to support, I recommend making sure it is a moral, upright organization.

Get the word out! Let your friends know your plan, and tell them to let their friends know. Ask if you can post or pass out flyers at school announcing your dress drive. Include specifics, such as the condition of dresses and dates when they must be delivered by. And then start collecting.

There are several things to remember about donating these dresses. First, make sure the dresses are in really good condition. Don’t give away dresses that have stains or marks on them or that are torn. (If there are tears, see if they can be sewn and repaired, and then donate them.) Just continue to keep in mind the question, “Would I want this dress in this condition, if it were me?” Some of us may have dresses that are somewhat outdated. Consider this when donating. Some styles do come back, and sometimes vintage is really cool, but if the dress has an obviously outdated look to it, consider donating it to a theater or your school’s drama department (while you’re in the mode of purging your closet).

hh1bI believe there is another thing that is equally important to consider when donating your old dresses, and this is modesty. Maybe you don’t have any immodest dresses in your closet, and so this isn’t an issue. But many people will be donating dresses that are questionable. Many dresses can be altered to be more modest, and while this isn’t your responsibility when hosting a dress drive, you don’t want to be sending others dresses that are going to be inappropriate (1 Corinthians 10:32, Matthew 5:28). Ask another adult, a parent or someone from your church, to help you decide what is appropriate to donate. Sometimes what one person sees as modest, another sees as inappropriate.

Please note

Most dress drives run from February to April, so don’t put off setting this up! If you’re too late for your chosen dress drive, contact them because they may still be accepting donations. If you can’t find a dress drive you want to donate your dresses to, consider taking the formal wear to a local women’s shelter. You could also sell the dresses at a consignment dress shop or online with your friends, then donate the money to your favorite charity.

Serving others and giving should not be new to us at this point. We’ve discussed both topics before, and we know how often serving and giving, although intended to glorify God and share His love with others, fills us with His love and joy in the process. God has freely blessed us so generously, and He commands us to share those blessings with others. “Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8). So this spring, while you’re thinking of your own dress to buy, consider those who also would like to enjoy these events, and simplify your closet in the process.

By Lisa Grimenstein

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