Every teenage girl deserves the prom of her dreams: shoes, accessories and the perfect dress included.
Just like in a fairy tale, the Cinderella Project steps in to make that dream a reality for girls who can't afford the cost of dressing up like a princess for a night.
As part of a national project, Charleston's Cinderella Project has spent the past two months collecting donated attire as a means of boosting the self-esteem of teenage girls while easing the anxiety that may come from costly events such as a prom.
On March 24, St. Matthew's Lutheran Church's auditorium will be transformed into a boutique. Local girls will have their pick of hundreds of new and gently used dresses and accessories to match, all of which comes at no cost to them.
The event will be much more beneficial than ordinary dress shopping. With the help of sponsors, food, gift bags with makeup, and door prizes including gift certificates to local restaurants and salons also will be available to attendees.
While the Cinderella Project is geared toward underprivileged girls, project Chairwoman Alissa Collins said the event will be held on the honor system, and no financial statements or records are required.
Collins has volunteered with the project since 2004, her sophomore year at the College of Charleston. The nonprofit has been active locally since 2001.
"I just thought it was a great idea. I knew girls that would wear dresses once and never again and they would just sit in the back of their closets. And I see that there is a need. With the economy the way it is, I've seen the population of girls who could benefit from this type of event grow," Collins said.
"There's a lot of work that goes into putting something like this together, but I'm guaranteed some hugs from moms at the end of the day," Collins said.
Volunteers are needed to help organize dresses the day before the event, and to assist girls while they're "shopping."
The Cinderella Project will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. at St. Matthew's, 405 King St.
For more information, visit Charleston's Cinderella Project on Facebook or email CinderellaProjectCharleston@gmail.com.
How to help
How to helpTo donate items to the Cinderella Project, visit the following locations. All donations are tax deductible. Email CinderellaProjectCharleston@gmail.com for information.Downtown--St. Matthew's Lutheran Church, Outreach Center, 403-405 King St.James Island--Martin Luther Lutheran Church, 1605 Harbor View Road.Mount Pleasant--St. Paul's Evangelical Lutheran Church, 604 Pitt St.--Waggoner Law Firm, 501 Belle Hall Parkway, Suite 202.Summerville--Dana Adkins Law Firm, 300 N. Cedar St., Suite A.West Ashley--Brinkley Law Firm LLC, 1180 Sam Rittenberg Blvd., Suite 200.