Wake Forest woman encourages 'can do' attitude by breaking out wedding dress 23 years later

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WTVD) -- Erika Close first put on her long sleeve white wedding dress some 23 years ago.

Most brides pack up their dress, only truly noticing it when they reach to the back of their closet.

Not Erika. The Wake Forest mom of three radiates joy, even through a Facetime interview.

Erika is sitting in her wedding dress, veil included, as we chat. Her gown this time not intended for wedded bliss, but to encourage a can-do attitude.

"It's just something easy that we can do to help us take our focus off what we can't control, you know?" Erika said. "It's fun. I mean, why not get our dresses and do crazy things?"

The can-do attitude is a play on words. Erika isn't just encouraging others to break our their wedding or bridesmaid dress for a quick photo, she wants participants to donate canned food to their local pantries, or cans of disinfectant spray to their local health care facility.

She's hoping people share their photos online using #ICanSayYesToTheDress and #ICanMakeADifference.

"I have learned from experience that when you take the focus off of yourself, and you focus on other people, all of a sudden, you think less of what you can't and more of what you can," she said. "It's easy to feel helpless, it's easy to feel insignificant. I'm not in the medical field, I can't do needles, any of that stuff. But, I have friends who are putting their lives at risk and I can't do that. But, what I can do is something little that, as you know, even the littlest things can make a huge difference.

If you aren't sure where to donate, Erika says she will research and point you in the right direction.

If the dress doesn't fit like it once did, that's okay too. "Don't even zip it up then, just put it on, remembering that day and having fun in it and having fun now."
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