With prom season quickly approaching, students at Riverside-Brookfield High School recently got the chance to play fairy godmother for Chicago Public School students.
From mid-February to March 15, the RB Student Association sponsored a collection drive for students’ old dresses, shoes, purses and other accessories. The items were then donated to the Glass Slipper Project, a non-profit organization that provides free prom dresses and accessories to Chicago high school students who can’t afford to purchase their own prom attire.
In total, 44 dresses and a variety of other accessories were collected at RB. Senior Julia Smrt, Student Association vice president and chairperson of the committee that organized the collection, said this was the typical amount they expect to collect each year. The Brookfield resident said this was at least the fourth year the student group has collected dresses for the Glass Slipper Project.
Smrt, who herself donated five dresses this year, said she liked working with the Glass Slipper Project because students knew their dresses would go to other students who truly needed them.
“I think it appeals to high school students, because everyone is in that situation,” she said. “Everyone wants to go to prom.”
Beyond simply donating dresses, Smrt and a group of other RB seniors will also be volunteering at the next step of the process?”actually distributing dresses to the girls who need them. In order to do this, the Glass Slipper Project holds three dress boutique days at Sojourner Truth School on the Near North Side of Chicago. According to the organization’s Web site, each day up to 600 girls are escorted through the collection by a personal shopper, who helps them pick out a dress and any other accessory they may need for prom night.
Smrt, who has worked on the collection drive for the Glass Slipper Project for the past two years, said she’s looking forward to seeing this other aspect of the organization.
“It will be interesting to see how the other part is run,” she said. “And it will be fun to help some girls look pretty for prom.”
Smrt said the Student Association plans to collect prom dresses again next year. In addition to this project, she said, the group is also involved in a number of other charity events, including blood drives, and winter clothes and canned food collection drives.