Pink Dress Project aims to help sin­gle par­ents

St. John’s woman to wear same dress ev­ery day for a month

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON \/ ATLANTIC - BY JUANITA MERCER [email protected]­gram.com Twit­ter: @juani­ta­mercer_

A St. John’s woman has been wear­ing the same dress for 11 days and she plans to con­tinue wear­ing it ev­ery day un­til Jan. 31.

Meghan Ca­reen is not try­ing to cut back on laun­dry de­ter­gent or save time de­cid­ing what to wear ev­ery day.

No, the rea­son she’s clad in the same bub­blegum-pink Soo­ley T-shirt dress ev­ery day this month is to sup­port the Sin­gle Par­ent As­so­ci­a­tion of New­found­land.

Ca­reen is calling it the Pink Dress Project, with a goal to raise funds for the as­so­ci­a­tion.

The dress was a gift from Ca­reen’s hus­band for Christ­mas.

“When I tried it on, my lit­tle boy promptly nuz­zled his sticky face into my lap, and I set my mind to keep­ing the dress for a spe­cial oc­ca­sion. But as I lay in bed that night, it just hit me how waste­ful that would be.

“I just thought, what if I cel­e­brated ev­ery day as a spe­cial oc­ca­sion? What if I wore that dress ev­ery day? And what if I did it to bring joy to some­one else?”

Ca­reen was raised by a sin­gle mother, so when she thought of an or­ga­ni­za­tion she’d like to sup­port, her mind went to the sin­gle par­ent as­so­ci­a­tion.

She said the ob­vi­ous im­pact of a sin­gle­par­ent fam­ily is of­ten the fi­nan­cial bur­den, but what she’s re­flect­ing on most dur­ing her Pink Dress Project is the lone­li­ness of a sin­gle-par­ent house­hold.

“Of course, I can only guess at the lone­li­ness of a sin­gle par­ent, but from the per­spec­tive of a child, I know first-hand how that feels.

“When par­ents are in sur­vival mode, child­hood is a very dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence than it is when par­ents have the lux­ury of be­ing present and ac­tive.

“I ap­pre­ci­ate my par­ents and I would not wish to change my jour­ney, but sur­vival mode is an un­com­fort­able state to spend your days in. SPAN of­fers par­ents the tools and re­sources to step out of that state. Once our ba­sic needs are se­cure, we feel safe and able to en­joy our fam­i­lies.”

Ca­reen said she didn’t want the gen­eros­ity of the Christ­mas sea­son to fiz­zle out as peo­ple got back to their daily rou­tines.

“Sin­gle-par­ent fam­i­lies are still in need of com­pas­sion and it felt like the right time to ac­knowl­edge that.”

While Ca­reen is col­lect­ing di­rect do­na­tions from her friends and fam­ily which she’ll do­nate on their be­half, she hopes her Pink Dress Project will en­cour­age the pub­lic to do­nate as well.

To re­mind peo­ple to do­nate — and to show donors she is in­deed wear­ing the dress ev­ery day — Ca­reen posts a photo of her­self in the dress ev­ery day to her so­cial me­dia ac­counts.

How­ever, be­cause she’s en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to do­nate di­rectly to the as­so­ci­a­tion, she says she won’t know ex­actly how much her Pink Dress Project will raise for the or­ga­ni­za­tion.

She says she went into the project think­ing if ev­ery­one she knew do­nated just one dollar, it would be a far greater con­tri­bu­tion than she could make on her own.

“That col­lec­tive im­pact is the only rea­son to do some­thing pub­lic like this. I can’t ac­com­plish much on my own, but I can draw at­ten­tion to im­por­tant top­ics, and ask my so­cial com­mu­nity to ac­com­plish some­thing with me.”

JUANITA MERCER/THE TELE­GRAM

St. John’s res­i­dent Meghan Ca­reen plans to wear her pink dress ev­ery day this month in an ef­fort to raise funds for the Sin­gle Par­ent As­so­ci­a­tion of New­found­land.

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