Residents at Freedom Place helped plan a red carpet themed banquet to celebrate the successful end of their school year. The original idea came from one of the residents who mentioned the wish to a staff member. The promise was made that it could be done and it was going to take a group of dedicated staff and volunteers to try and pull it off. Everyone knew the importance of following through to help build healthy relationships with the residents. They couldn’t let her down or the other residents!
It was time to get to work, the resident had shared her ideas on a storyboard outlining the entire event, down to every detail, including the theme and color scheme. Staff and volunteers started asking for donations. The volunteers from Golden Shears Salon in Spring, Texas heard about the idea. The stylists were so moved by the resident’s initiative and creativity, they decided to collaborate and get in on the planning and even volunteered to provide hairstyling and makeup for attendees on the night of the event.
That was just one of the items on the list that could be checked off. The biggest cost would be finding gowns to fit each of the residents. Golden Shears salon referred staff to a non-profit formal dress shopping program, called Ashley’s Cinderella Closet. Ashley, a local high school student, started it after Hurricane Harvey for students to attend their end of school year events and collected dresses from across the US. The need was still evident after the initial endeavor and Ashley continues to collect the gowns from donors and passes on the kindness by sharing them with those who need them for special events. Freedom Place’s event fit the need she would want to fill. When Ashley was contacted she readily agreed to help find the residents formal dresses. She provided multiple fittings and stylings of gowns for the residents to find their perfect dress, at no cost to Freedom Place. Ashley’s Cinderella Closet didn’t stop with providing the dresses in fact the whole family got involved. They provided beautiful decorations and paid to have a meal catered on the night of the event from a nearby Italian restaurant.
The night of the Oscar-worthy event was memorable! All of the residents looked and felt amazing in their gowns. The residents received special awards prepared by their staff and beautiful gift bags from a volunteer, Camy. Each of the residents was celebrated and had their picture taken, by volunteers, Amy and Becky, to commemorate the special day! And it turned out to be a very special time for the residents, staff, and volunteers. Everyone’s passion to see a resident’s wish granted turned into a very fun and formal evening that made great memories for them all!