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Cinderella Dreams

Cinderella Dreams

Providing Prom Dresses, Making Memories


This is your chance to be a real Fairy Godmother!
Volunteers are needed to sort and stock dresses and to assist teens shopping on the days of the events. Go here for a sign-up sheet for available opportunities with Cinderella Dreams. Please note, some opportunities are only for eighteen and up.

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The simple truth was this: With one income and a limited budget, a Richmond-area mother could not afford to start one daughter on braces and send the other to senior prom in the same year.

When this single mom heard about Cinderella Dreams Prom Dress Project, sponsored annually by Midlothian Junior Women’s Club, she saw a way to take care of both of her children.

1202_Reaching-Out_FA shopping event held each spring at a local donated retail space, Cinderella Dreams lets young women from all over Greater Richmond select prom dresses and accessories for free. Since 2006, MJWC has partnered with local businesses to help hundreds of students look and feel great while attending their high school proms – something they might not have done because of the escalating costs of dresses, shoes, and accessories – not to mention the price of dining out and the school dance ticket itself.

According to Beth Fitzwater, MJWC member and co-chair of Cinderella Dreams, nearly 300 girls found dresses at last year’s three-day shopping event. Fitzwater said the volunteer group has seen the number of kids served triple since 2008 and has set a goal to help even more girls find “the prom dress of their dreams” this year.

Relying primarily on donations from the community, building up a substantial inventory of prom attire for the annual shopping event is crucial to the success of the project.

“We accept donations of gently-used and new prom dresses of all sizes, lengths, and styles – and shoes and accessories,” Fitzwater said. “We also try to encourage the families who shop at the event to donate the dresses back for the next year, so other girls can wear them.”

Adds Fitzwater, “Stories like the single mom mentioned here, who didn’t have to choose between orthodontic work and the prom for her kids, and watching a girl walk out of the Cinderella Dreams Shop holding a beautiful prom dress with a big smile on her face, full of excitement and expectation – that’s the whole reason we do this.”

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How Can You Volunteer?

Donate Prom Dresses  Drop off gently used prom dresses at any YMCA (pink box) or Puritan Cleaners (please tell them it is for Cinderella Dreams). Richmond Ballet is also accepting dresses and accessories at the Richmond Ballet at 407 E. Canal Street and at Dominion Energy Center during all Cinderella performances. Go here for tickets and showtimes.

Dress Sorting  Adults or high school students can volunteer during for dress sorting. This community service event will allow high school students who participate to receive a timed pass to come back and purchase a prom dress before the first public shopping day, Friday March 16.

Fairy Godmother  Want to help shoppers find a prom dress during public shopping? Fairy Godmothers (must be older than eighteen and out of high school) are desperately needed as we do not allow young ladies into the shop unless a volunteer Fairy Godmother is available to assist them.

Save the Date!
Shopping Days
at Westchester Commons

For a $5 donation, teens can leave with the prom dress of their dreams.

Friday, March 8 – 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm
Saturday, March 9 – 10:30 am to 2:30 pm
Sunday, March 10 – 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

Karen Schwartzkopf
Karen Schwartzkopf has her dream job as managing editor of RFM. Wife, mother, arts and sports lover, she lives and works in the West End with her family: husband Scott, who not coincidentally is RFM’s creative director, and their daughters – Sam, Robin, and Lindsey. You can read Karen’s take on parenting in the Editor’s Voice.
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