Dress for Success

Dress for Success

Cristin Murschel and Dr. Joy Fagan of Cedarville University are collecting dresses as part of Dress for Success, a ministry that helps women at risk in the Dominican Republic. Photo courtesy of Cristin Murschel

by Public Relations Office—Cedarville, Ohio

January 27, 2009

Cedarville, Ohio—It’s time to take out that old prom or bridesmaid dress and put it to good use. Most of us want to make a difference in the world, but few of us actually get the chance. Cristin Murschel, a senior Spanish major at Cedarville University, grabbed her chance when she brought a ministry for at-risk women to campus.

While spending a summer in the Dominican Republic, Murschel saw suffering women in the area of San Pedro de Macoris. Domestic violence, prostitution and unwanted pregnancy are all too common in this region. Murschel experienced firsthand that an aid organization could give them an opportunity to make a better life for themselves and their children.

So Murschel came back to Cedarville, partnered with a like-minded faculty member, Dr. Joy Fagan, and started a dress drive called Dress for Success.

“Dress for Success has been a huge success because so many women in our student body responded,” says Fagan, assistant professor of Bible. “We did it to help women at risk learn how to use their hands to sew and make alterations to create something beautiful in contrast to their ultimately destructive endeavors to support themselves. The dresses will be displayed in a fashion catalog and eventually rented out to Dominican women, having been altered by Dominican women employed by the ministry.”

Women at Risk International, an organization that unites and educates women, has volunteered support and resources for this effort. “I have partnered with the ministry in the Dominican Republic as well as Women at Risk International, and I am excited to see these two ministries come together to reach out to women at Risk in the D.R.” says Fagan. “Cristin and I are grateful that we had the opportunity to help out in this way and are proud of our student body for not only their passion for these hurting women, but also their generosity. Only God knows how many women will be touched and transformed by their compassion and tangible generosity.”

Murschel and Fagan focused their efforts on the Cedarville campus with a goal of obtaining 100 dresses. “An e-mail went out to all University women informing them that their prom, bridesmaid and wedding dresses could be put to good use to help women at risk,” explains Fagan. “Our women rallied, and at this time we have collected almost 350 dresses.”

Murschel couldn’t be happier with the outcome. “I’m just excited that women in the DR who think that selling themselves is the only way to live will now have the opportunity to do something else.”

The ministry realizes that a 100-dress goal was not enough. Now they’re setting their sights higher, hoping to reduplicate this ministry concept here in the Miami Valley and elsewhere as God opens doors.

If you have dresses in your closet, contact Fagan by email or 937-766-7753, or you can bring your dresses to Room 249 (second floor) in the Center for Biblical and Theological Studies.

Women in the Dominican Republic as well as here in our own country need your help to improve their way of life. Please consider making a difference in our global community.

More Information

Location: Center for Biblical and Theological Studies, Room 249

Address: Cedarville University, 251 N. Main St., Cedarville, Ohio

Learn More: email or 937-766-7753