May 3, 2011

out with the old

Last weekend was largely consumed by Spring Cleaning at my house, even though Spring hasn't exactly "sprung" in our neck of the woods! Still, it feels great to have gone through the drawers and closets deciding what will be kept, tossed, donated, consigned or sold on Craigslist. The highlight of this year's purge was finding a different venue for donating. I'm excited to have stumbled upon it, and hopefully it's just as inspiring to others.

From the Star Tribune a couple weeks ago: She's the Fairy Godmother of Gowns

I've been honored to be a bridesmaid in a few weddings over the years. These experiences have provided wonderful memories and strengthened my friendships. Alas, once the celebrations are over, the bridesmaid dresses accumulated by being in the wedding party have been carefully stored in the corner of my closet since their one time use. Since these garments have become a closet fixture, I tend to notice them only once it's time for a cleaning. It's fun to take a moment and pull the dresses out of the plastic to reminisce about the events they represent (while realizing how tiny my waist was when I wore them.)

The thought of donating my bridesmaid dresses to a thrift store hasn't crossed my mind. While I've never had a problem with donating other clothing or housewares to thrift stores, these dresses seem too personal. Then a couple weeks ago, I read in the local paper about what Jeri is doing out in Waconia. She dedicates her alterations business each spring to revamp donated gowns (no matter how dated and bridesmaid-y), turning them into current prom dresses. Jeri works with high school girls who would not otherwise be able to afford their prom. It completely changed my mind to learn of someone using their time, talent and business space to modify and tailor used gowns for young women in need. For free. Fantastic.

Since it would take around two hours (round trip) for me to drive out and donate in person, I contacted Jeri via email and confirmed it was okay to mail in my donation. I don't have the symbol hanging in my closet any longer, but I still have my friendships, memories, and photos. If you have a bridesmaid dress or other formal gown residing in your closet, consider what else it could be doing.

Contact: Jeri Kuecks
Vista Images - Waconia, MN

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