‘The community came together’ to help homeless girls

 
 

RUSSELL
RUSSELL

rachael@stylerr.com

Prom is one of the most anticipated and memorable occasions of a teen’s life. It’s an important rite of passage, where they get to commemorate their school career by dressing up and celebrating with their best friends and faculty.

Dresses are hundreds of dollars, something many students cannot afford this opportunity, and so they are left out. We think that these students should have the same chance as everyone else to experience this big event.

This is why Style Saves got involved with Project Prom. We even started a satellite program of our own efforts in Providence, R.I. Style Saves sees the importance in helping students to fulfill their needs and desires, both academically and personally. We believe in building confidence through clothes, and that absolutely applies here.

Since 2012, we’ve been raising funds through fashion and art events in order to provide underprivileged students with new back-to-school clothes.

This will be our fourth year producing the Style Saves Swim charity fashion show fundraiser at the Soho Beach House during Swim Week in July.

Now that we’ve settled comfortably into our annual events and givebacks, Style Saves decided to start outfitting girls for prom as well. They get to feel like a celebrity, choosing a dress, shoes and accessories really feels special. It’s so rewarding to see how good the girls feel about themselves once they’ve chosen their outfits, they stand a little taller and are proud of how they look and feel.

Everyone who works for the organization has ties to the fashion or media industry so we put all our efforts into reaching out to them. Our Visual Director, Yossi Bibas, came up with the “Will You Go To Prom With Me?” visual, which went viral. In less than a week of it being posted, we received dozens of phone calls from people in the community who wanted to help. Everyone from local retail boutique owners to police officers were calling to get involved.

Supporters from the city of Miami Beach, Miami Magazine and Ocean Drive Magazine all offered their offices as drop of locations during the duration of collections. It’s amazing how our whole community came together to help.

As a result, we gathered more than 200 dresses, hundreds of accessories, shoes and clutches.

Yolanda Berkowitz went above and beyond to make the girls feel like they were having a proper prom shopping experience. Diana and Karen, with Miami-Dade County Public Schools are angels. They, too, went above and beyond in the planning and execution of this event. They are dedicated to the cause and are constantly looking to help the students of our community. They handpicked students who would benefit the most and made sure they had everything from clothes, to flowers, to make up.

There were amazing volunteers on board that set up the space at the Doubletree to look like a department store. There were also lots of fashionable volunteers, like the girls from DASH boutique, who were able to really help stylize the girls during the fittings.

Stephanie Caro, our interactive director, who was on site for the fittings, said she met one girl who was excited that she not only had a dress for prom, but that she could keep it as well, had her in tears.

Some girls came with their boyfriends and were excitedly picking out matching dresses, tuxes and accessories for their big night. Seeing the response from both the community and the students energizes and motivates us to work harder and do more. Just by putting our little message out into the universe, we were able to make a huge difference.

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