While many of Courtney Barich's classmates will likely walk into their grad wearing tuxedos and sequin gowns, the Grade 12 B.C. student will make a grand entrance in a burlap dress.
The 18-year-old has pledged to wear it in order to raise $10,000 for St. Martin De Porres Orphanage, which she plans to visit with a school mission team in the Philippines.
"While I would love to join my peers and dress up in a glitzy dress for grad, I feel we are so spoiled as Canadian children and the need to wear that glitzy dress is not important," Barich wrote on her website.
She visited the orphanage with her school, Surrey's Holy Cross Regional High School, in March and was stunned to see its poor conditions and children were sleeping in garbage bags, CTV News reported.
The experience made her want to help others.
Barich came up with the idea for a burlap dress while shopping for a grad gown with her mother, The Surrey Leader reported.
The student had second thoughts about spending over $700 on a dress she would wear for just one night. Her mother joked she would look good in anything, even a potato sack, and the idea stuck.
Barich has collected about $4,000 so far and has 55 days left to raise the remainder of money before grad night. All funds will cover food, shelter, medical needs and education for over 100 children who receive help from the orphanage, she said on her site.
As for the dress, she bought burlap fabric from a Cloverdale store for $3 and will get help from a design student from the Vancouver Art Institute, Global News reported.
Her grad date has agreed to wear a burlap vest and bowtie to match her dress, said CTV News.
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