The grass is green, flowers are blooming and the birds are singing. Spring has arrived in the Midwest. And in a few short weeks, a sea of tulle, tuxedos and sequins will fill every banquet hall in the area. Prom season is upon us!
It’s been almost eight years since I attended my senior prom. Most of the time, it’s a memory I prefer to forget. The weather was crappy, I could barely fit into my dress and my date donned an unflattering ensemble that was created from a last minute purchase at Goodwill. Though my experience with prom wasn’t the fairy tale that Seventeen advertises it to be, I still think it is a rite of passage in American society. It sort of signals the closing of the adolescent phase of one’s life and the beginning of the next.
Our economy has been in turmoil the past few years, forcing many families to abandon non-essential expenses. Unfortunately, prom seems to fall into that category. Considering I spent almost $275 on my dress alone, I completely understand why many would deem the event as “something extra”. But never fear, there are fairy godmothers all around to help a girl in crisis! Over the weekend I volunteered with the Glass Slipper Project, an organization that collects and distributes dresses, shoes and accessories so that young women in Chicago can have everything they need in order to look fabulous on their prom night. GSP began in 1999 and they run a boutique where high school juniors and seniors can put together their full look. To date, the organization has helped over 16,000 girls. This past Saturday I assisted with the completion of this year’s boutique at McCorkle Elementary School. We organized the dresses by size and color, and made sure the spaces were tidy.
Working with the dresses and interacting with the other volunteers has me excited for the boutique days! I’m going to be a personal shopper and will be assisting the girls with their dress selection. The Glass Slipper Project will be holding their boutique on April 14th, 21st and 28th at McCorkle School, located at 4421 S. State Street in Chicago. They will be accepting donations up until the last boutique and are in need of dresses, shoes, accessories (e.g. purses) and makeup. Makeup must be unopened and in its original packaging. If you’re interested in donating, email me at email@example.com!
Though I had known about the Glass Slipper Project for a while, I was happy to learn that other areas have similar initiatives. Over the weekend I had an opportunity to speak with Audrey Druin and Kaitlin Logan, the organizers of Prom Aid: Southern Indiana. Their original goal was to start a dress drive to benefit victims of the tornadoes that occurred earlier this month. However, word spread about what they were doing and the two friends decided to open their shop to everyone. They held two events at the Clark County Fairgrounds and one this past weekend at Stewart Automotive in Salem.
(Photos courtesy of Kaitlin Logan, Prom Aid: Southern Indiana)
“Between all of the events we were able to help about 100 girls pick a dress, shoes and jewelry,” said Druin. Prom Aid: Southern Indiana has received immense support from the community, including donations from Countryside Insurance, Hello Gorgeous Salon and Spa, Charlestown Pizza Company and First Harrison Bank. Druin said that many parents and students are appreciative of what they are doing and have begun planning for next year’s dress drive. They are, however, in need of gift certificates for flowers, tuxedos, jewelry and other accessories for this year’s prom. For more information on how to donate to the cause, please visit the Prom Aid: Southern Indiana Facebook page.
I will be writing a follow up post once the Glass Slipper Project boutiques get started and prom season is in full swing! It’s so exciting to know that in the midst of chaos and darkness there are a few of us willing to help by providing a little sparkle!
Until next time,
“Kindness is just love with its work boots on…”
- Shelly, The House Bunny (2008)