The "Fairy Godmother Project" Treats Low-Income Girls to Free Prom Dresses
Prom is one of our earliest rites of passage, and it should be one that's available to everyone who wants to participate, regardless of income. At least, that's how Carliana Harris and Yanitza Eguigure of Jacksonville, Florida, see it. The two women know firsthand how frustrating it can be to want a gorgeous prom dress but lack the funds to buy a new one.
"It was hard for my mom to buy me a prom dress," Carliana says. "We did struggle for a little bit and my dress came from a thrift store."
For some, even thrift store dresses are outside of the budget. And that's where Carliana and Yanitza's new organization steps in to help. Called Proyecto Hada Madrina, or "the Fairy Godmother Project," the initiative collects donated dresses and hands them out for free to low-income students who apply to get one. It all got started last year, when Yanitza, who works at a local high school, gave prom dresses to two students who wouldn't otherwise have been able to afford one. Inspired by the joy she saw on their faces, Yanitza turned to social media to invite others to donate dresses that could be given away for free.
The response was overwhelming.
"We thought that we were going to have more girls than dresses," Yanitza says, but the opposite happened!
Proyecto Hada Madrina wants to serve students who really do need a free dress—and have earned the right to get one through hard work—so applicants must submit both their parents' last pay stub and their most recent grades to be considered.
Local beauty and hair salons have also gotten involved, donating gift certificates to be raffled off. We're inspired by this community effort to make prom accessible to all.