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The Burlap Dress: An Update
Written by Fresh Vancouver   

CourtneyIt is not uncommon to be aware of others in need and think, “Someone should do something!” It might even progress to, “I wish I could do something!” Eighteen-year-old Courtney Barich took the next step, and gave substance to her intentions.

By now you have probably heard the story. To help raise funds for the St. Martin De Porres Orphanage in the Philippines, Courtney decided not spend hundreds of dollars a graduation dress that she would wear just once. Instead, she had a dress made from $3.00 worth of burlap fabric and used the resulting attention on broadcast and social media to promote the goal to raise $10,000 before a return visit to the orphanage in September.

Courtney shared some thoughts with us about her experience, the impact on her… and others, and what the future holds.

couple standing togetherStarting with what is surely an understatement, she said, “Looking back, it got more attention than I expected. I was a little hesitant at the beginning, but I would definitely do it again.

“Maybe other people will want to do it, or something like it, and it won’t stop. People will keep on doing things to help those who need help. I’m looking forward to seeing what other people do with the idea and where they take it.”

Her advice to others is as simple as it is straightforward: “Don’t think about it too much. If you have an idea or an inspiration, just follow your heart.”

At eighteen, Courtney lays no claim to a fully developed life plan, but she is quick to acknowledge that the experience has impacted her life choices for the future. As she puts it, “I’m not sure of the specifics yet, but I know I want to do work that helps people.”

three women with a large presentation chequeDonations to the cause are being accepted until September 1 when Courtney plans to visit the Philippines once again. Find out more about Courtney’s experience and learn how you can help at