The Purple Purse Project and 100 Dresses

100 Dressed RS Night runway

The Ray Rice incident is tragic.  On many levels.

One good thing about it though, it has brought more awareness to the victims of Domestic Violence.  While October is the Domestic Violence Awareness Month, the Purple Purse Project/Challenge is happening all year long.

I recently found out about the Purple Purse through an event I helped organize.  You can learn more about this project through this page…The Purple Purse.

The event was titled “100 Dresses,” named for the book .  You can purchase your copy through the link.

It’s a great little story about a girl, Wanda, who is mocked daily at school because she wears the same dress every day.  Wanda tells those mocking her, that she has 100 dresses at home.  Eventually Wanda and her family move away because her family is tired of being shunned.  The other girls in the school feel bad about how they have treated Wanda and try to learn more about her.  They discover Wanda has entered the school art contest and won, for her drawings of 100 dresses.  The dresses are intricate, beautiful, and some have been drawn with the faces of her classmates.  The girls in the class seek out Wanda in her new city, ask for her forgiveness, and Wanda releases the girls from their guilt by offering her forgiveness.

How does this book and the Purple Purse tie together?

In my church there is an organization for the women called Relief Society.  We meet once a month on a evening to enjoy each other’s company, learn about the gospel, and sometimes craft.  Last night we met to offer service.  We took inspiration from this book and decided to seek out women who have been shunned (not by us necessarily), and needed a helping hand.  We asked all the women in the congregation to donate a dress, or two, that would be donated to a women’s shelter.

100 Dressed RS Night dresses on line

The evening was full of lots of fun, and we collected over 300 dresses!

As part of the evening we had a runway show, modeled by ladies in the congregation, wearing clothes from all the different eras.  And our handsome MC was my own flesh and blood.

100 Dressed RS Night Andy mc

Sorry the picture is so blurry, I was in charge of the evening so someone else took the pictures.

We gathered all the donated dresses and took them to a local shelter that helps women who have escaped violent relationships.  These women are on their own.  Without help from strangers they would be unable to create a new future.  The purple purse provides these women with financial help so they can have a safe home, and the opportunity to start over.

The dresses we donated can be used by these women to apply for jobs and have an appropriate wardrobe for their new career.

Many women in these situations leave in the middle of the night without anything but their children.  They don’t have money or clothes.  They are fearful of contacting family in case the abuser is tracking them.  I can only imagine how scary this situation would be.  It makes me so grateful for the benefits I have of a loving husband who supports me and loves our children.  Read more about our marriage priorities here.

Unfortunately, I know this isn’t the case for everyone.  If you are in an abusive relationship, please seek help.  Visit the purple purse website for information about a local women’s shelter that can help you.  If you know someone in an abusive relationship, help them find the resources they need.

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About Anne Banks

Hi, I'm Anne! I am an active learner on this crazy road called life. I love learning about anything, but currently spend most of my study time researching parenting tips and improving health. I get excited about crafting, reading, running, baking, and spending time with my three crazy boys (in no particular order, and sometimes at the same time)! I love sharing what helps me get through the day, and I hope my tips help you!

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