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Philanthropy Friday: Fairy Goodmothers

 columbus imPRessions Philanthropy Friday: Fairy Goodmothers
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Fairy Goodmothers started with five close friends and a girls’ trip to Chicago in April of 2005. While enjoying their time together, the ladies came up with the idea of collecting and distributing free prom dresses to high school girls. When they came home to Dublin, they wasted no time and enlisted several other friends. Soon after, Fairy Goodmothers became a reality, earning 501(c)(3) status within six months. Today they are a part of The Columbus Foundation’s power philanthropy program.

Fairy Goodmothers serves high school girls in central Ohio. They are dedicated to building confidence and self-esteem in high school young women and do this by collecting and gifting prom dresses to girls who lack the means to acquire their own.

Cinderella’s Closet

Fairy Goodmothers’ major service is the gift of a prom dress through Cinderella’s Closet Boutique where they believe a gift is for now, magic is forever. Cinderella’s Closet opens every April for several days, usually on two different weekends. The April 2011 dates have just set: Saturday, April 2nd from 9am to 2pm; Monday, April 4th from 3pm to 7pm; Saturday, April 9th from 9am to 2pm; and Monday, April 11th from 3pm to 7pm. It’s a time when high school girls are welcomed to select a prom dress, shoes and even accessories – ALL FOR FREE. Since its inception, Fairy Goodmothers has outfitted more than 2,800 girls in Central Ohio. Last year alone, more than 800 young women visited Cinderella’s Closet Boutique. The goal for 2011 is to gift 1,000 gowns. For more information on Cinderella’s Closet can be found here.

Donating Dresses and Dreams

Throughout the year, Fairy Goodmothers accepts new and gently worn prom gown donations at any Callander Cleaner and Charles Penzone’s locations. During the month of February, folks can also drop off dresses at the customer services kiosks in both the Tuttle Mall and Polaris Fashion Place. People are also encouraged to “Donate A Dream”. For a $40 donation, you can purchase an entire prom outfit for a young woman in Central Ohio. The donation buys a gown, shoes and accessories. You can make an on-line donation or a donation can be mailed to Fairy Goodmothers, 6724 Perimeter Loop Road, Suite 136, Dublin, OH 43017-3202. Donations can also be made through the Columbus Foundation Power of Philanthropy.

Sparkles & Spurs

Fairy Goodmothers is very excited about its first evening fundraising event on February 20th called “Sparkles & Spurs”. Sparkles & Spurs is a cocktail and tasting event, featuring a silent auction (items include tickets to the Clippers and Columbus Crew; a 1-week stay in a Florida condo; and an after-hours shopping party at Rowe Boutique) and one-of-a-kind dishes from some of Central Ohio’s most popular restaurants and chefs. Proceeds raised will be used to purchase plus-size prom dresses, shoes and accessories. The event will be held at Park Street Saloon in the Arena District from 5:30 to 8:30pm. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased on-line.

Volunteering

Fairy Goodmothers is always looking for volunteers! Extra help for the staff at Cinderella’s Closet Boutique is always needed in April. The most rewarding assignment for many of our volunteers on these days is being a personal shopper: walking through dozens of racks of prom dresses and helping a young woman find the gown she feels gorgeous in.

One special story a volunteer shared was about Megan. A high school senior at the time, Megan was born with a hole in her spine and doctors told her parents she would never walk, that she would always lag her peers. At the Boutique, Megan laughed about it and told us she had a 3.7 GPA. She dreamed of studying Spanish translation in college but she also wanted a perfect prom night in the perfect prom dress. But because she spent most of her time in a wheelchair, she knew it might be tough to find a dress with the right fit. Yet the moment she tried on a dark purple, satin halter dress, the smile never left her face. “It’s hard to describe,” she said. “I feel amazing. I can’t stop smiling!” Neither could her cousin, Olivia, who also found a dress she loved. Megan’s mom was speechless and overcome by emotion when she said a quiet “Thank you.”

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer fill out the on-line form, call 877-745-2445 or Email The Fairy Goodmothers.

For more information about Fairy Goodmothers visit their website. You can also Like them on Facebook.

Philanthropy Friday is a feature article by Michele Savoldi that will highlight a Columbus area non-profit organization every other week. For more nonprofit information follow Michele on Twitter at @cbusimpressions and @inkindconnect.

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