Welcome to Project Cinderella:
Before telling you about our mission I wanted to share a couple of documented statistics to help explain our cause and why we are doing this:
More than 23,000 children will age out of the US foster care system every year.
After reaching the age of 18, 20% of the children who were in foster care will become instantly homeless.
Only 1 out of every 2 foster kids who age out of the system will have some form of gainful employment by the age of 24.
There is less than a 3% chance for children who have aged out of foster care to earn a college degree at any point in their life.
7 out of 10 girls who age out of the foster care system will become pregnant before the age of 21.
The percentage of children who age out of the foster care system and still suffer from the direct effects of PTSD: 25%.
With this statistics fresh in your head, imagine with me, a young woman, getting ready to graduate to nothing. As she walks down the hall, all around her she hears whispers of prom and how amazing it is going to be. When her friends ask her if she is going, she quickly changes the subject and hides her true emotions until she returns to her “loaner” home. She has been in foster care since she was 11, taken out of a horrific situation and placed into a foster home. Court cases happened, and life went on, bouncing from home to home with nothing but a bag of clothing to call her own. Truth is, she would love to go to prom, but that meant money, money that neither her, nor her foster parents have. She convinces herself that its selfish to want to go to prom anyway, after all there are 8 more children in the house with needs. So for now, she waits, she waits for the day when her borrowed home is taken away, and she graduates into a life with no back up, limited support and full of uncertainty… without those memories that all of us cherish, with out a taste of joy to build her life on…. Now enter Cinderella Project…
What is the Cinderella Project?
Project Cinderella takes these amazingly strong young women, and allows them to come and browse our collection of prom dresses and pick out the one that makes them feel and look as stunning and as special as they truly are. We also provide makeup and hair artists and of course photographers for the night of their prom. All at no charge to Seniors who are actively in Foster Care and low income families that need have a daughter graduating.
What about the Foster Parents, can’t they pay for a dress?
As a foster parent, there were many trials and tribulations in dealing with both phycological and fiscal circumstances. Money is stretched thin every month as a foster parent, the states payment, while welcomed, can cover food, shelter and utilities… But as a parent of two teenagers, I know that the bill doesn’t stop there. There are dances, social events, nights out, school supplies, fees, field trip costs, lunch money…. the list goes on and on. Those funds come directly out of the pockets of the foster parents, and most of the time those pockets are already stretched extremely thin.
Where do the dresses and services come from?
Dresses and services come from our partners in this charity. Image Photography is waiving their Senior Session Fee for anyone that can donate a wearable prom dress in good condition. We don’t want them to have junk. We also are looking for vendors in the hair and make up departments along with other venders that are willing to donate their services to this amazing cause such as florists, limo companies and even restaurants.