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What is The One Dress Project?

The One Dress Project is me, Brittany McDonnell, wearing one dress, for one month, as a way to raise awareness and funds for Christian education in developing countries.

Stepping away from the consumer lifestyle we are fed here in North America will not be an easy feat, but I feel it’s time to take a stand for something that really matters. Prior to the conception of this idea, I found myself adding all sorts of things to my life, overfilling my closet, my heart, and my mind. We, as North Americans, often add layers of “stuff” to ourselves to ward off painful realities, and overcome vulnerabilities. The problem though is that as we add “stuff” to our lives, and ourselves, and we often forget who we are apart from these things. Over the course of the month I aim to challenge the way identity is constructed through clothing and material goods, and instead remind people that our true identity is found only in Christ.

The funds that I raise through this declaration will be donated to EduDeo Ministries to help build and maintain Christian schools in countries such as, Belize, Ghana, The Dominican, Zambia and Nicaragua.

I myself have had the opportunity to travel to Nicaragua with EduDeo, or as it was known at the time Worldwide Christian Schools, and have seen first hand the work that they do building schools, mentoring teachers, and sharing biblical truths. As a result I am very excited to be able to continue to support this ministry in any way that I can.

Why am I doing this?

Well that’s a big question, but one that I’m thrilled to answer. There are lots of reasons, but first let me tell you how this all came to be.

I was sitting in my room late one Sunday night, staring blankly at my open-faced shelves piled high with clothes, when I began to ask myself, why on earth I owned so many clothes? My thoughts immediately blamed it on society, but I knew that that wasn’t entirely to blame. After all, I have free will and I could choose to simply consume less. So, what seemed to be the problem? Why did I really own so many clothes?

As I started to consider parting with some the answer became apparent. It was the same answer that came to me at the end of every season as I began to pack up the clothes. These clothes, these lifeless pieces of fabric, were a part of me, like a security blanket. I mean even the clothes I rarely wore seemed to hold some sort of sentimental value or security, security that if I ever needed them they would be there. As I began to deeply ponder what all this really meant though, I began to think about those that really have nothing, and how selfish it was of me to hold onto something that I didn’t even use “just in case”. It was shortly there after that I decided I would do something with my clothes, and not just the seasonal clean out the closet and give to charity, although that is well and good. I decided I wanted to do more. I wanted to make a statement, both to myself and to God that I could live with less and that He was really all I needed. As a result I determined to fast from shopping and use but one article of clothing for one month. That one article of clothing, a dress, would become my uniform for the month.

It was the thought of this dress being like a uniform that brought me back to my missions’ trip in Nicaragua, where I remembered many kids who were not able to afford a uniform, and even more who were unable to go to school at all. It was then I decided I wanted to use this step away from consumerism, to help raise funds for education in developing countries. And thus the “One Dress Project” was born. This will be my second year running the "One Dress Project" and I pray that it will only continue to grow in the years to come... all for His glory!

What exactly do you mean by one dress?

I will be wearing one dress, for thirty days, washing bi-nightly. All accessories worn during the course of the project will be from my current collection, or donated items. The only exclusions that apply are sleepwear, workout clothing and swim wear. The dress will otherwise be worn at all times.

What is my fundraising goal?

Lord willing, I am aiming to raise $1500 over the course of the month, to aid children in developing nations the opportunity for Christian schooling.

When will I be doing this?

The One Dress Project will begin on Nov. 1, 2012 and will draw to a close Dec. 1, 2012.

How do I hope it affects North-Americans?

I pray that by stepping away from consumerism, I will encourage others to stop and think too, about how they are using their many blessings, how their identity is linked to their possessions, and most of all to consider who they are in Christ.

How can you support?

Please support “The One Dress Project” with prayer, asking specifically that everything that comes of this may only be for God’s glory.

Or if you feel led support "The One Dress Project" campaign financially.

Want to join? Or have questions?

If you are interested in joining the project, or simply have questions, please send me an email at brittmcdonnell@gmail.com I would love to hear from you. This project is open to guys and girls a like with guys obviously substituting another article (or two) of clothing for the dress.

Burt & Sandy
Nov 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Once again, as Brittany's parents, we are humbled by God's grace and mercy in our lives. We are currently serving in Haiti ... where poverty is so prevalent, and education comes at a cost. There are many children in the village whose parents can't afford to put them in school, or they are not sponsored to attend school. We join in prayer and support with Brittany for such a valuable fundraiser, all the while denying the instant gratifications of our North American culture. May God bless your efforts.

Ann O'Boyle
Nov 1, 2012 at 11:37 pm

We are indeed so blessed here in Canada. We have been given so much .Will be praying for you Britt as you step out in faith for God's glory. "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit". Rom 15,13. We serve an awesome God who is able....Ephes 3;20-21.

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