A collaborate effort with
borrowed semi-formal and formal dress project
I worked at a disability organization and was responsible for getting a celebrity to host a fundraiser. During the live auction, bidding was low for a jacket. I asked the celebrity to put on the jacket and the bidding war began! When thinking about my next fundraiser, I remembered that instance and thought... what do celebrities do with their dresses after they have worn them on the red carpet? Most never wear them in public ever again. So... where do they go? Then I thought, I should create Donate My Dress for celebrities to use as a way of giving back AND supporting charity. At the time, I thought their dresses could be auctioned off and half of the winning bid would be donated to my charity institution and the other half would be donated to the charity of the celebrity's choice. And, just like that instance where the celebrity put on the jacket and the bidding war began, I felt that if the celebrity provided a photo of themselves in the dress and signed a statement that the gown was being provided by them, the winning bid amount would substantially grow... which would be a win for both charities. This made logical sense, right? I pitched my idea, but... my organization didn't want to do a celebrity auction again. So... my domain has been stagnated for the last 15 years, just waiting for my awesome idea to come to fruition. And then my daughter, MIEmmaB, had an idea to let people borrow her dresses through CountMeIn.me. Although not a celebrity, she said, "I have all of these dresses downstairs taking up space, many worn less than an hour for photoshoots. They deserve to be worn more than an hour." So, her project idea started coming together to let anyone borrow a dress. The person only has to pay for shipping. We'd love to offer free shipping; however, there aren't resources to cover that amount. We also need to provide dry cleaning when the dresses are returned. We are still trying to figure out a solution for that. To offset these financial necessities, I thought I would revive this idea of mine; but its purpose is now two-fold.
One: A person can pull that old prom dress out of their closet, look at it, remember the great memories they had in it, and pay it forward by sending it to MIEmmaB to let another girl borrow it. Think Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. Have you read the novels by Ann Brashares? Or watched the movies starring Blake Lively, America Ferrera, Alexis Bledel, and Amber Tamblyn? The passing along of the pants from girl to girl almost had magical properties... the pants were symbolic... and came in the mail just as the girls needed them... These dresses will be delivered to girls across the nation just when they need them, too.
Two: The idea of a celebrity donation is still valid. A dress that cost thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars would not be put in the borrow catalog of Count Me In. Instead, it would be auctioned off like my original idea, and half the proceeds would be sent to the celebrity's charity of choice and the other half would be used to offset MIEmmaB's project costs that include dry cleaning ($50-$75 per dress), shipping the dresses to girls, and return shipping back to our home (~$30 total).
Whether you are a celebrity or not, your dress donation helps by continuing to offer a sustainable, eco-friendly, low-cost alternative to girls in the U.S.
Complete the dress donation form to send us your dress
Want to donate to dry cleaning costs or pay for someone's shipping costs?