March DeClutter Results ~ 14 gowns donated ~ 116 blog hits

Well, I didn’t make my goal of 25 gowns, a bit disappointing. Still, on the bright side, I delivered 14 lovely gowns to General Electric in Lynn, home of the North Shore Fairy Godmother program, an all-volunteer effort by members of the Elfun Society, a service-oriented GE employee program.

I met Cathy, the group’s coordinator and she gratefully accepted 14 gowns including 1 brand new with tags, 2 very fancy beaded gowns, several lovely black long gowns, a couple of semi-formal dresses and 2 retro gowns from weddings gone by (I joked with some of my fellow 40somethings that you know you are getting old when past bridesmaids and formal gowns may actually be in again – as a vintage dress or for someone who is going for the retro look!)

The Fairy Godmother “boutique event,” when they help teens identified by service organizations and high schools as being in need, is this Saturday, April 4th, so my best wishes for a successful day to Cathy and her fellow volunteers. I encourage folks to visit the boutique page if they know someone in need or just to see the good work being done.

Another measure of  impact, I’ve had 116 hits (I’ve updated this number a few times) on the weblog from folks looking for prom donation info and people definitely clicked through to several of the organizations I mentioned in my original prom gown post. So, I’m hoping that, just maybe, in some way, I did help get 25 gowns in the hands of teens who are less fortunate but certainly deserving of feeling special as they head of to their prom, as all young ladies should.

A prom gown and accessories collection would certainly make a great community service project for a group of teen girls, as would many of the DeClutter For Good drives and ongoing re-use initiatives planned for Time Well Spent. But, community service is a post for another day!

One of the things I’d love to see with the prom dress drives, in the future, is that the opportunity will be taken to teach girls about dating abuse, safe choices, girl empowerment and the like. I learned that none of the prom drives currently give out such information, but they all agreed it was a worthwhile idea. They have their hands full with organizing the prom gown events logistically, several of them working as an all volunteer program, including North Shore Fairy Godmother. Still, they all said they would welcome info or handouts. So, unable to provide handouts, I took the time to share some great teen-empowerment sites. I thought it made sense to post the links here as well, so here they are (pardon the messy links, but I have a business plan to write!):

http://www.helpabusedwomen.org/Resources.html

http://www.teenvoices.com/issue_current/tvresources.html

http://www.loveisrespect.org/dating-bill-rights/index.html

http://www.teenvoices.com/amplify/

I was thrilled the other day to see Martina McBride on television talking about the very topic, hoping to teach every teen girl that when a boyfriend doesn’t want her talking to other boys, texting others and the like, that isn’t “cute,” or proof that “he loves me so much he’s jealous.” It’s a red flag. Hopefully, with efforts to educate young girls, a new generation of victims can be averted or at least reduced.

Here’s the link to Martina’s involvement with a great organization:

http://www.loveisrespect.org/2009/03/24/martina-mcbride-teams-up-with-loveisrespect-national-teen-dating-abuse-helpline-against-teen-dating-violence/

So, bringing together some of the prom gown drive organizations with some of these teen empowerment programs was time well spent as well, I hope!

Special thanks to those who donated. I will be providing addresses to NorthShore Fairy Godmother (next week!) and they will send out donation/tax deduction receipts. Gown donators, send me your mailing address if you think I may not have it. Thanks AGAIN!

Carpe Diem! N.

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