A friend asked me if I’d like to volunteer for the Princess Project. The Princess Project collects formal dresses throughout the year, then on a few weekends in the spring sets up a temporary “store” and girls who might otherwise might not have had a prom dress come in and shop. I’m generally game for any volunteer opportunities, so I said yes.
I was re-thinking my decision when my alarm went off at 6 am on Sunday morning. I dressed in pink, as the email instructed, and sleepily made my way downtown. We listened as the volunteer coordinator described the various duties. I was assigned to be a personal shopper and a runner, someone who takes tried on, but not wanted, dresses from the dressing rooms back to the racks.
I don’t have the opportunity to interact with teenagers very often. I loved it. I loved seeing them roll their eyes when I suggested dresses. It made me think of all the times I rolled my eyes at my mom when she suggested an outfit or two. Karma, right? I loved hearing them describe their perfect dress: short hem, strapless, peach colored, no sequins, boa okay, taffeta, and there better not be anyone else at the prom with anything similar on. Okay. Are you willing to concede on any of those requirements? No? Okay, let’s start looking. I loved when they came out of the dressing room, found me, and showed me the dress they were going to the prom in.
It’s great to donate money to causes you believe in. And there’s something incredibly powerful about volunteering and interacting with the end recipients of a project. A friend I volunteered with described it as experiencing impact. I’d describe it simply as fun.