Cinderella's Closet Helps Students In-Need Live Their Prom Dream
Cinderella's Closet of Monmouth County board member, Samantha Baccala, and fashion show co-chair, Maria Polera, are making prom dreams come true by making suits, tuxedos and dresses available to students in-need.
"Welcome to Life & Living. I'm Joanna Gagis. You know, many New Jersey high schoolers are skipping the prom. Not because they're too cool, or too stressed to ask a date, but because they can't afford the clothes. Well my next two guests are working to change that. They are board members Samantha Baccala, and Fashion Show Co-Chair Maria Polera, both of Cinderella's Closet of Monmouth County. Welcome to the program ladies. Thank you. Thank you for having us. What is, Samantha, Cinderella's Closet? So Cinderella's Closet is an organization that was started ten years ago now, by two high school students, who realized that a lot of their friends were having certain... Was it their own friends having trouble affording the dresses? No not their own friends. Okay. They realized people in the community were, you know, not going to the prom because they... it's a financial burden on the families. And so they thought that every student should have the opportunity to go to prom. It's a lifelong memory that people bring with them forever. It's like a rite of passage, right? Exactly. Not everyone wants to do it. [laughter] But for those who want to do it, and can't afford it, that's where it becomes really sad? Exactly. So they thought, "Why don't we do something so that other students have the same opportunities that we do." So they got dresses donated, and they held a fashion show to raise money to put on this boutique, where students come who are recommended by either social workers or school counsellors or clergy that they... so we know that they really do need the help. And they come and they can pick an outfit. Okay so your friends found that there was a need? Mm hmm. Was this within your community? Were they reaching outside the community? Who were they trying to serve? So it started within Monmouth County, and they quickly realized that there was a need elsewhere in the whole state of New Jersey, and we actually help an organization up in New York as well. And so we have had students from Camden, and from Jersey City, and it's really just grown over the years. Okay Maria, tell us about what happens when people come in to buy the dresses? It's awesome to see everyone come in... And I'm sorry, I said "buy the dresses." They really don't. They're given to them? Yes. So tell us about what happens when they pick a dress. So on our boutique day is when they all come in. And some of them are a little shy to be there, but the rest of them are pretty much excited that they're getting to go to prom. And it's great..."