Awhile back, I wrote about an amazing event that I am working on with a bunch of very creative and motivated women. The Covenant House Prom is a prom for young adults who have found themselves homeless for a variety of reasons. Most of them did not have the chance to go to their high school prom and the founders of Take the Cake have found a way to make it happen.
We put a call out for dress, shoe and jewelry donations and the response was overwhelming. Tonight was the second night in two weeks that we sorted the gowns, and with no exaggeration, there are over 1000 gowns donated! There are only about 50 girls who will be attending the prom, but not knowing them ahead of time, we had no idea of sizes and style preferences the girls have and now they have their choice of so many gowns! Every color, shape, size and style imaginable will be set up for them when they “shop” for free next week.
There were boxes of jewelry donated, and piles and piles of shoes as well. The generosity has been truly amazing.
A local cleaners has donated their services to dry clean the dresses that they choose. All of the extra dresses will be stored for another event, or passed along to another charity like this one so that they can be used as well.
It was wonderful to see our committee, along with some motivated young girls from our high school and middle schools, volunteering their evening to help us sort through the bags and bags of dresses.
While we were sorting, a few of the young women who are living at Covenant House walked through the room and saw the mountains of dresses and asked if we had their size. We assured them that we did and they actually squealed with joy! It really put meaning behind what we are doing. Only a few weeks until the prom….I think I am almost as excited as the girls are!
On April 3, I decided that I would not be writing daily on my blog. It is funny, some nights, I go to bed thinking that I forgot to do something for the day! It got to be such a habit for me.
I have still written several times this month and posted stories of kindness. I still read other bloggers entries and when I am feeling inspired or whimsical, like tonight, I sit down and write.
Tonight ends our Spring Break. Back to reality tomorrow morning when that alarm goes off at 6am. Back to schedules and routines. I got used to being at home. We had a “staycation” this year. No trip for us. Drew was lucky enough to be invited to Great Wolf Lodge with the family of one of his good friends. DJ was busy with baseball.
Drew started the week off on a high note with his Spartan Race. The weather was gorgeous and we knew if the whole week could be like that, it wouldn’t matter that we were staying home and not going anywhere. Well, it wasn’t. We had torrential rain on Monday and SNOW flurries two days!
At least it forced me to get some Spring Cleaning done – nowhere near as much as I had hoped to do, but some. The Veterans came and picked up a lot of “stuff” that was cluttering up the rooms. I always joke that the house feels lighter after a donation pick up.
I was lucky enough to get to celebrate my best friend’s birthday by taking her to lunch. I did some collections for the Prom Dress Drive and for the local food pantry. Dave and I used some gift cards we had been saving for awhile, and got to see a movie and have lunch.
I got to experience everyone’s vacations through Facebook. When I realized that DJ’s Spring break won’t ever fall at the same time as ours, it motivated me to look into a trip over our holiday break from school. Maybe it is something to strive for. Looks like I need to sell a lot more jewelry!! 🙂 🙂
Take the Cake along with Covenant House New Jersey are planning to host an unforgettable prom night for the Covenant House kids in Newark.
Covenant House is the largest privately funded charity in the Americas providing loving care and vital services to homeless, abandoned, abused, trafficked, and exploited youth. Many of these young people have missed important life milestones and celebrations, like the high school prom.
I have been luck enough to work with Take the Cake, a local organization taking photos for a few of their events. I think that this project will be one of their best ones yet and I am excited to help spread the news about it.
To make this night a success for the kids, they need your help. No donation is too big or too small. They need flowers, dresses, tuxedos and more to make the dreams of these students come true. You can help them create memories by donating.
They have set up a Gofundme page to help with donations, http://www.gofundme.com/covenanthouseprom
Everyone deserves the chance to go to prom.
This afternoon, Drew and I had the opportunity to volunteer with TAKE THE CAKE, a program serving Maplewood-South Orange, New Jersey and our neighboring communities. They are a proud part of Rent Party Pantries (501c3) and are committed to the idea that every child deserves a special birthday party. Last month, I took photos for their first party and I was so happy to be able to be a part of it again.
Drew decided to join me today because he was invited to a Bar Mitzvah for his friend Jacob. Jacob is involved with Take the Cake as his Mitzvah project and since we aren’t able to donate a lot of money to the cause, we decided that donating our time would be beneficial as well.
Today’s party was for a child who was nominated by Good Grief, an organization that helps children and teens cope with the loss of a family member.
When I found the quote I added to my blog today, I was brought to a blog on, Chaos in My Arc. It offered so many suggestions for ways children can get involved. From small things like random acts of kindness, to full blown projects. I think it is so important to get children involved in volunteering as early as possible. Hopefully it will be something that sticks with them as they grow up and they will continue to see the good it can do for others and make a difference in the lives of others.
Today I had the pleasure of working with two wonderful ladies, Janine and Laura. They run the organization, Take The Cake which provides customized birthday parties to families who otherwise might not be able to provide one for their children. Children are nominated for these parties by a caretaker, teacher or tutor. Today’s party was for two sisters who have been living in foster care for several years and have been shuffled around quite a bit. One just turned 6 and the other is turning 8. It was a combined princess party for the two of them.
Take the Cake is a volunteer organization. Both Laura and Janine’s philosophy is that all children deserve to be celebrated on their birthday. I have volunteered to do photography for them as often as I can. Today was their first event. Two thirteen year old girls joined us as face painters. Laura and Janine brought the games, decorations, presents and food. The party was held at a church in Jersey City. The space had been donated for the party. A local pizzeria offered pizza at a discount and the cake was donated by Edo’s Cakes in Maplewood.
I am so thrilled to have been a part of today’s event. The kids had so much fun. When one of the birthday girls was making her wish as she blew out the candles, she wished out loud, “I wish this party could last for five more hours!” It put a lump in my throat.
As we drove home, we reminisced about the day. It was overall such a big success. They should be so proud of what they have started. It is an amazing organization. If you are able to help, donate, offer a service, or would just like to find out more about Take the Cake, use this link.