Picture this. You're 12 years old and have never left the small town in which you live. You don't know where the mall is located because your town doesn't have one and you've never been to the neighboring town where one is located. You see the clothes the "other" kids have, but don't really know what all the logos mean because you've never been to those stores. You do know that they have those logos and you do not.
You used to live in the country where it was quiet, but you had to move into government housing where it's noisy all the time. You had to move there because during the tornadoes of last spring, you got thrown out of your home when it was tossed about and the wall blew out. You're still scared when it storms. School isn't a priority because the future isn't too bright from where you sit.
I blogged recently about my Sisters' Prom idea and how I hoped it would be a success. It was. Girls I've known forever and some I'd just met showed up and danced the night away. In the end, we took over 50 dresses to our local church for donation. Girls who can't afford dresses can come to a "store" and choose a dress for $10. I was lucky enough to see several young girls on their way out the door with some of the dresses my "sisters" had donated. I saw one girl waltzing out of the dressing room in a beautiful gray, floor length gown one of my friends had worn to our prom. It took my breath away.
Girls like the one I mentioned above are who inspired me to organize this whole deal. It won't necessarily break the cycle of poverty or addiction, but they are children and they deserve a moment to feel beautiful and important. Life can be cruel and unfair. I was lucky. I was born to great, loving parents and had a wonderful family to help raise me. Not everyone has that.
So, here is my picture. The girl pictured with me was my partner-in-crime and helped plan everything. Next month a teenage girl will don these dresses to celebrate and enjoy the final year or two of high school. I couldn't be happier to have played a small, anonymous part in that joy. Smiles, people.