A Dress for Success

Are you willing to venture outside of your comfort zone?  Are you willing to commit to the unthinkable in an effort to put others first?  Would you stretch your limits to make a difference?  These are questions we must all consider in our daily lives.  These are questions I have asked myself often and based on a recent volunteer experience, I believe I have demonstrated the answer.

In early August we spent time helping out at the WEARhouse thrift store.   The proceeds from items sold at the WEARhouse support the mission of the Hancock Hope House, a homeless shelter located in Greenfield, Indiana.  We shared the experience in a blog we titled “Sharing Hope”.  At that time, I asked Linda, WEARhouse manager, how else we could help.  She asked that we come back and participate in their annual Style Show.  The Style Show is a fundraising event that shows off the clothing and accessories that can be purchased at the store.  MaKenna and I agreed to participate in the event as models.  It is no surprise that this was the first request I have ever had to be a model.  I will also be surprised if I am ever asked again.  In an effort to help this great organization, I told Linda that I would make an effort to raise some additional funds.  If I reached my target of $500, I would do something outside of my comfort zone.  If I reached the goal, I would wear a dress down the runway during the show.  This was stretching the limit to make a difference.

We used social media to promote the event and share my willingness to wear the dress.  Many people were excited to support the cause in hopes of getting a glimpse of my embarrassing photos.  My friend Chris stepped up and challenged his friends to come forward with dollars.  He agreed to wear a dress with me if his friends came up with $200 of the total.  I am proud to say that we raised almost $600 for the Hope House which meant that we had to follow through on our commitment.

The day of the show approached very quickly and MaKenna and I were excited to participate.  We walked the runway together during the second set.  I modeled a Coca-Cola golf shirt and a pair of Dockers that I donated after the show.  MaKenna wore a black dress that made her look beautiful.  She was a natural on the runway.  She walked confidently across the stage with her million dollar smile on display.  After we finished our first walk, it was time for me to change for the grand finale.  I slipped into my blue dress with lace and flowers.  I accessorized the look with a red hat and a black purse.  Chris was wearing a long, navy skirt and jacket.  We walked onto the stage to loud applause, laughs, and smiles.  We modeled our dresses proudly while the emcee shared our story.  We exited the stage to a standing ovation.  Even though we looked like a bad episode of Bosom Buddies, we accomplished our goal.  We raised money for a great cause while bringing smiles to the faces of others.

I want to thank everyone who pledged to support this cause.  I appreciate everyone’ s support and commitment to making a difference.  I have often said that we must get comfortable being uncomfortable.  This is a must if we are to truly impact the lives of other people.  It is very easy to do.  Look at me.  I wore a dress for charity and I lived to tell about.  Step outside of your comfort zone for others and you will survive too.

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