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52 Dresses: a Guest Post by Amy Earle

Giving back is so very important to me, and I am very honored to introduce y’all to this amazing woman and her incredible project. Love times a million ♥

 

Guest Post by Amy Earle of Simply b Photos

{52 Dresses}

After 13 years of raising sons, I thought I’d never have a daughter. I was a mother to 3 boys and I loved it! Life with boys is never dull; they are funny, messy, and noisy.
When Miss B joined our family three years ago it was as if our whole world tilted and shifted. She scooped up our hearts and holds them in her little fist. Every day she brings light and laughter into our home. Her ability to charm with her smile, miniature glasses, and raspy voice knows no bounds.
Having a daughter opened a whole new world when it came to clothing. For 13 years I had shopped solely in the boys sections. Finally I was able to step over into the land of ruffles, pearls and pink.
I had an idea last year just after she turned two, when I realized that she had never worn the same dress to church twice. Dresses were too much fun to collect and she had a closet full of them. It seemed there was always something new and pretty to wear.
And so I started {52 Dresses}. The plan was simple: I would photograph her each week… in a different dress… over a year’s time.
oh. my. What a year it was! She changed so much through that first year of {52 Dresses}. (You can see all of the 52 Dresses from Year One here.)


At the end of the year I wondered what in the world I was going to do with fifty-two dresses! I asked for and received a lot of advice on the subject. It was suggested that I auction the dresses off, or have a huge giveaway, or cut them up and make a quilt, or save them for when Miss B would have a daughter of her own. But it wasn’t until my sister’s suggestion that I knew exactly what needed to be done with the dresses.
You see, last summer (2011) my parents left to serve a mission for our church in Johannesburg, South Africa. They would be gone for 24 months. It was a huge sacrifice to be away from their 10 children and 35 grandchildren, but they found such joy in serving the people of South Africa.

My sister’s suggestion was for me to send the dresses to my mom and have her distribute them to little girls in need. That was it! That was the perfect idea for all these dresses that I just love so much. I knew that was the answer because my heart was filled with joy at the thought.
The end of Year One coincided with our family moving across country from Kodiak, Alaska to Tampa, Florida. The boxes of dresses, shoes, and accessories were carefully packed and are now waiting for their journey to South Africa. They will be traveling to South Africa next spring along with dresses from Year Two!
YES! I decided to keep the project going and am currently on Week 19 of Year Two.

 

This year is bigger and better! I’m working with boutique businesses that create fabulous children’s fashions! Each week a new designer is featured and they are generously donating a dress that will be sent to South Africa as well as giving away a dress or gift certificate each week! Here’s a peak at the last 14 weeks from {52 Dresses} Year Two:

It’s been a humbling experience witnessing the generosity and excitement of those who are participating. I love photographing Miss B each week knowing that the dress she is modeling will soon be making another little girl very, very happy.
I am hoping (as well as praying, planning, and doing everything I can think of) that I will have the opportunity to accompany the dresses to Johannesburg next spring and be there when they are given away to little girls in need. I can only imagine how incredible that would be. The chance to capture that through photography and finish the story of {52 Dresses} is my dream.
You can follow the story as it unfolds each week through my Facebook page and through my blog. Please stop by and say hello. I would love to meet you! Thank you for your support of {52 Dresses}!

AmandaDecember 2, 2012 - 4:05 pm

Stunning photos with an amazing story to boot. Congratulations, thank you, and God Bless Your heart!!!!

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