Sunday, July 4, 2010
Ah, what to do with a big, beautiful wedding dress. I've had my dress for 4 years now. During that time, it has taken up an ample amount of space in the closet, and I've opened the bag and looked at it once, maybe twice. I'll never fit into it again. I'll never have an opportunity to wear it again. Any future daughter of mine will want her own dress. Any friend I could give it to will want her own. And I'm not into keeping things just to keep them.
So I've had my eye out for some way to donate it over the past years. I did not, however, want it to be on a thrift store rack, sold for $50 to become part of someone's Bride of Frankenstein Halloween costume. I got serious about finding something to do with it, and asked my friends for advice. That is how I found the Mary Madeline Project. This is an amazing charity that, through the handiwork of lovely volunteers, turns donated wedding dresses into infant burial gowns and blankets for bereaving parents of stillborn children and babies in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.
Wow. Pause. Deep breath. I had to take a second to process that.
This is exactly what I've been looking for. I cried as I poured through their website. This project touches my heart deeply, and I am so honored to be able to donate my dress. If that's not enough, they will place a memory tag on each gown created from my dress to honor my loved ones that have passed away. These tags will carry the names of my mother-in-law, Elma Keahey, and my grandma, Mary Potter. Though there are many loved ones to honor, these two women passed away while I was pregnant with our own child, so I feel they have a special place in this project. In addition, I know this charity would have a special place in their hearts - both having been mothers and grandmothers.
My motivation for writing this post is not for a pat on the back, but rather the hope that someone will read it and become motivated themselves to donate and/or spread the word about organizations like this. If you or someone you know has a wedding dress that is taking up space and doing a whole lot of nothing in your house, I would urge you to consider this organization. They also accept bridesmaid dresses and other formal wear in colors that would work for boys' garments.