One of the parts of "adulting" that I'm not wild about is how much less frequently I find/make time to volunteer. Back in high school and college, philanthropy was insanely accessible, and with so much more free time, it was easy to embed it in my regular course of activities. These days, it seems like it's so much easier to hit up a happy hour or put in a bit of extra time at the office than it is to seek out ways to do good. Needless to say, I was excited when this particular 101 in 1001 item morphed into a chance to give goods and time!
In looking for places to donate old formal dresses, I stumbled across the website of Operation Glass Slipper. Founded in 2006, OGS's mission is to help high school girls who couldn't otherwise afford to attend prom find the dress (and shoes, and accessories) of their dreams at the annual "Princess Day." Attendees, or "princesses," are paired up with volunteers ("fairy godmothers") to pick out a dress, shoes, purse and jewelry, entirely furnished by donations, at no cost. Together, my mom and I donated six of Emily's and my old dresses, and also signed up to act as fairy godmothers on the day of the event last March!
With my love of fashion, all things sparkly, and princesses, this could not have been a better event for me to participate in. I had such a ball with the two girls I was paired with! I spent around two hours with each of them, painstakingly going through the racks dress by dress to find the perfect one. It was especially fun that each of my girls had super different tastes...Shay, my first appointment, was looking for something slinky, backless and jewel-toned, and Kabel, my second, wanted something poofy and princessy to fit with her prom's "Night of Enchantment" theme. While each of them ended up taking second (and third) trips back through the racks, we ultimately found the perfect dresses for each of them! My mom and I hooked up a few times to fight through tricky shoe questions or debate the perfect earring...
...and by the end of the day, I was so happy it was almost as if I had gotten to pick out prom dresses myself! It was absolutely magical to see girls getting so excited about their choices, and to hear their stories. Even better, every volunteer was incredibly supportive and complimentary. There were numerous times where other volunteers would stop and compliment one of the girls I was working with, and I definitely did the same thing. The atmosphere was giddy with positivity, which was truly reflected in the girls' attitudes. I'm definitely looking forward to continuing to help with the event in the future...it was such a fun day, it hardly even felt like volunteering!
Just for fun, here's a little trip down memory lane of the dresses we donated in action! Try to restrain your laughter: