Fashion / Style News

Real-Life Fairy Godmothers are Making Proms Magic for Teenage Girls Facing Financial Difficulties

Giving Gown Foundation Eliminates Dress Stress With Caring Volunteers and Free Stylists

BY // 01.15.20

There’s always magic in finding THE dress. Just ask any bride or red carpet celebrity. For a shopping experience that combines magic and meaning, look no further than the Giving Gown Foundation, a nonprofit organization providing teenage girls facing challenging financial circumstances a free head-to-toe prom look. The Giving Gown Foundation goes the extra mile, empowering girls from within through workshops focusing on self-worth and inner beauty.

It takes a legion of fairy godmothers to outfit the 1,500 young women from across the Houston area, so Giving Gown relies on the support of volunteers who donate time, resources and funds to the organization. Their efforts culminate in a massive shopping week where registered girls come with their schools to find the dress of their teenage dreams.

“The first year, I signed up for two hours and stayed for the whole rest of the day, ” Giving Gown president Casie Miller says. “One of the best things about our organization is that we strive to empower these precious girls to know they are enough and beautiful just as they are.”

The Giving Gown Boutique experience provides each girl with a stylist, who shops with her for not only a dress, but also jewelry and shoes, while on-site seamstresses work on alterations. Just as with any fabulous shopping trip, the day includes lunch, but the Giving Gown volunteers don’t stop there. Each girl attends empowerment workshops and the organization provides a $2,000 college scholarship provided by THINK Neurology for Kids.

The 2020 Prom Boutique weekend is March 25 though March 28, and planning for the event is in full swing. There’s still time to spread some pixie dust, through donations of gowns, especially in plus sizes. Have dresses to give to the organization? Simply drop them off at one of the 36 Houston area Tide Dry Cleaners locations.

Miller stressed the importance of being able to serve every single girl, regardless of size, and how sizes 16 to 36 especially needed on the donation front.

“In our early years we had a princess in a size 32 and we were not prepared with an option for her. A few beautiful volunteers comforted her and purchased a dress of her choice online and delivered it to her personally,” Miller says. “It was a wonderful moment of compassion and love that we learned from. We vowed to never be unprepared again, so each year we raise money to purchase gorgeous gowns in sizes that aren’t typically donated to us.” In addition to the gown, the girls also receive a swag bag of hygiene products.

The Giving Gown team gets a head start on spreading the joy Friday, Jan. 24 at the More Than A Dress Luncheon at Northgate Country Club. All proceeds are put toward purchasing the prom items. (PaperCity is a sponsor of the luncheon.)

“We are so fortunate to have donations for everyone and so many styles for the girls to choose from,” Miller says. “There’s an unattainable idea of what prom is supposed to be. This experience increases their self-esteem and is full of kindness and joy for all of us.”

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