I completely forgot to add my charity into the post about 37 Things You Didn’t Know About Me. Well, let’s just make this #38.
Last weekend my charity UPLIFTING SISTERS hosted our very first D.C. Prom Dreams event. You may be thinking..
“What is PromDreams? And What the is UPLIFTING SISTERS?”
What is UPLIFTING SISTERS?
UPLIFTING SISTERS is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization that develops and provides innovative educational workshops, activities and mentors for to inner city youth. Our goal is to help the youth unlock their hidden potential through continuous encouragement, respect, admiration, and accountability. We strive to educate and broaden the hopes, dreams and goals of young people through active partnerships with parents, schools and professionals. Thus, allowing the youth of today to thrive and become future leaders of tomorrow.
My wife is the brainchild of this organization and for the last few years we were able give back to the community in a way that leverages both our skills.
What is Prom Dreams
Prom Dreams is an annual UPLIFTING SISTERS event that allows the dreams of young women in inner cities to come true by attending their high school prom. This event empowers young women to dream big while reinforcing the message that their dreams can come true. Each year we collect hundreds of dresses and host an event where these special young ladies are able to be queen for a day. The young ladies throughout the community are able to come view our selection of dresses, shoes, and accessories and choose the perfect combination. In addition to finding the perfect ensemble some of the young ladies will have the opportunity to get their hair and makeup done on prom night for free by local stylists.
This year we hosted the event in two cities. The first city was my wife’s hometown of Rochester, NY. The second event was hosted in Washington, D.C.
Since we live in V.A. it would have been very tough getting all the dresses to N.Y. so, we held an essay contest. The requirements of the essay contest was simple.
Rochester, NY Prom Dreams Requirements
Write an essay that thoroughly addresses the following topic: “What obstacles you have overcome throughout your high school career” and submit it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Must have at least one (1) letter of recommendation from a teacher or guidance counselor, and they need to submit it directly to email@example.com.
- Must provide proof that you are enrolled in school.
- Must be a junior or senior from Rochester, New York.
District of Columbia Prom Dreams Event
In D.C., we held an actual event in S.E. D.C. with hundreds of prom dresses. Girls were able to come and pick out dresses, shoes, and accessories for their proms. I’m not going to lie, the event though rewarding, definitely was not easy to put on. You would be surprised on how much goes into running an event like this.
You have to advertise, network, get donations, solicit volunteers, find storage for dresses, accessories, shoes and clean all the donations. I know I’m missing something, but you get the point. This isn’t something that doesn’t take effort. Keep in mind, we are doing this for no money! We get donations, but not nearly enough to cover the cost of hosting any events. But, I must admit the smiles that we put on the faces of the people we helped went beyond what any monetary compensation could provide.
During the day of the event I played the cameraman. I equipped with my new fancy smancy Canon T3i was responsible for taking pictures of any and everything. I kind of went overboard and took 400+ pictures.
Who knew that taking pictures would be the easy part. The hard part was going through the pictures and picking the ones that were worthy of publishing. Then editing the identified pictures. OMFG, it took me forever! Hence, the delay for this post.
I’m such an average camera man. But, I’m learning…
Pictures from the D.C Prom Dreams Event
Check out the pictures from the event below:
I never thought that being involved in such a cause would bring me more happiness than making money. The feeling is definitely weird for me, but, I’m glad I was smart enough to support my wife’s vision. Now I cannot wait for the next event.
Support the Cause!
Since I have your ear.. well your eyes. Click the link below and provide UPLIFTING SISTERS with a small monetary contribution to help us in our next event.