Operation Grad Girl~ Bless a Grad Outreach- Amazing Turnout!

God has a way of turning something dark and uncertain into something great, and there is a purpose and a lesson through challenging times and uncertainty. This was the case with The Dresses and Dreams Project. Last year, we were well into the planning stages of our 7th annual Operation Prom Girl event when the reality of a shut down due to a Covid pandemic hit. It was then more than evident that businesses and venues were closed indeterminately. We made an announcement that our event was cancelled and waited to take the next steps, not knowing it would be a year later, event planning season again, and we were still locked down and schools remained closed. I thought about how hard it has been on our students. With no certainty as to whether or not there would be proms in 2021, I knew there would be graduates and they deserved to be honored and adored! This, Operation Grad Girl- Bless a Grad Outreach was born. And I have to say, this may have been out best event to date. With a little over a month to plan, we hustled and collected donations, created goodie bags for each girl to receive with the help of Youth Leaders of Menifee, rounded up our service providers and finally got a yes for a location to have the dress giveaway when I asked Elevation Church Menifee’s Pastor Kasey Crawford.

Soon the word got out on Instagram, Facebook, and through flyers and emails. Girls who applied to our free program told stories of heartbreak and hardships on their applications. Even though we set a limit of 50 girls, we never turn anyone away. Over 65 young ladies were blessed this year- 20 of which drove as far as Victorville when we partnered with a wonderful woman from Victorville School District who worked diligently to make the arrangements with each student. The great thing about the program is that it goes much further than just a party of formal dress. When the girls attend, they are able to make life decisions or get urgent and emergent help. Our service providers include agencies that provide resources and immediate assistance for alcohol/drug addiction, domestic violence, human trafficking, pregnancy, self worth, college, career, life skills and more. Girls are also welcome to join the all-volunteer staff and pay it forward by joining our new Youth Ambassador program.

Each and every attendee this year was an encourager of her peers. The young ladies clapped and cheered for the others as they found their perfect gown. Menifee Police Department’s lady police officers mingled with the girls throughout the event and the atmosphere in the “house” was down-to-earth and authentic. Barriers are being broken and unity was evident at this event. The teens were so grateful, upbeat and were really happy about being out and being in-person at a function where they were able to meet new people and celebrate not only the mandates lifting, but their rite of passage as a graduate of the class of 2021.

Each girl received breakfast, lunch, a beautiful dress, raffle prizes, resources, and a coupon in their goodie bags for free photography session from Visual Impact Photography. Buffalo Wild Wings and Chick Fil A Murrieta provided meal coupons for all attendees. Macy’s Temecula donated our most stylish, fashion forward gowns and we are so overwhelmed by the generosity of our community.

Times of hardship can not only become a learning experience but if we are looking, we can find that in the midst of times where we feel the light has been dull and worn, as we make it to the other side of struggle, we can see the lessons that are birthed out of those hard times and press ahead with fresh gratitude and newfound joy which comes with a newfound sense of freedom.

We are so grateful to not only the girls who attended that filled our hearts with so much joy, but each and every volunteer of our all-volunteer organization and our community partners and friends that participated and made this day a success. Most of all thanks to God, who we trust even when we can’t see the whole road, but only the next step.

He makes all things work together for our good. No matter how bleak a situation may appear… See Romans 8:28, Genesis 50:20

Opportunity For Financial Partners/Sponsorship

We are growing! And we want you to be part of this incredible season of blessing. We are looking for sponsors in and out of our communities to partner with us! In exchange for financial support, we offer several packages of incentives as our way of giving back to YOU, making it a true win-win partnership, while you support a fabulous cause. We have made it possible for everyone to participate, regardless of economic status!

The Dresses and Dreams Project is a fully volunteer operated 501c3 whose programs are always free to those with hardships and difficult circumstances. More than just a dress, we help girls so that they can live life to their full, God-given potential . For more information, contact thedressesanddreamsproject@gmail.com.

Applications Now Closed For Operation Grad Girl ‘21~Bless a Grad Outreach

Thank you to the 80 girls that are graduating this year who applied to have a chance to attend our event/dress giveaway to be held at Elevation Church, Menifee on May 8. We will be issuing tickets via email and text this weekend, and the ticket will be good for one admission, gown or dress of choice, goody bag, photo in dress by onsite photographer and a gift card from Visual Impact Photography, Menifee, for a free photo session and 8×10. We know we said we would select 50 recipients, but everyone’s a winner baby! Keep watching your emails for details!

Volunteers Needed For Dress Giveaway Event

The Dresses and Dreams Project has a volunteer meeting coming up on April 24, just before our Operation Grad Girl~ Bless a Grad Outreach. We are looking for women with a passion for vulnerable young women and a heart to serve with an amazing sisterhood of an all-volunteer organization.

Volunteers Needed! Next Meeting is March 20 at Spirit Park

With several events and community opportunities approaching, the need for volunteers is great! Come check us out Saturday, March 20, at Spirit Park in Menifee, We would love for you to come share your time, talent, treasures!

Operation Grad Girl ‘21~ Bless a Grad Outreach

The Dresses and Dreams Project in partnership with Youth Leaders of Menifee and Visual Impact Photography will be honoring area teen girls who are graduating this year and have any type of hardship or challenging circumstance. 50 students will be selected to receive a dress or gown of choice, photography sitting, and a goody bag through our “Bless a Grad” outreach. We feel that aside from the uncertainty of these times, these graduates need to be recognized for their milestone accomplishments this year. So despite our Operation Prom Girl events that have been cancelled for the last two years, what a better way to reach out to show the love!

Application, here on this site, opens on March 1 through April 1. Selected applicants will be notified on April 17 via contact info provided, and announced on Instagram and other social media platforms.

Donations for goody bags are needed; we seek local business and community support to honor these girls this year, if you’d like to donate please contact dressesanddreamsproject@gmail.com

Seeking Wish List Support For Operation Grad Girl ‘21~Bless a Grad Outreach

As spring appears as a glimpse in the doorway through the seasons and we get closer to shutting the door on a tough season and a gloomy winter, we want to recognize girls who are graduating this year with a FREE outreach and dress giveaway to honor them. In partnership with Youth Leaders of Menifee, we are blessing 50 teen girls to honor their huge accomplishment this year! We can only do this with a lot of support from the community after lockdowns jeopardized our ability to thrive financially. ( Read more below)

There are many ways to help. We are looking forward to our communities stepping up to offer financial support, gift cards, and assistance with items for 50 goodie bags that the girls will receive, along with a dress or gown of her choice and a photography sitting by our partners at Visual Impact Photography, Menifee.

*The focus is on girls who are somewhat local, as they will choose their gowns in the Inland Empire.

Please contact us for more information, at dressesanddreamsproject@gmail.com

Love Shouldn’t Hurt Workshop Returns!

Our Love Shouldn’t Hurt Workshop returns on February 27 at 10 am-noon! The class is free for teens and women, ages 15 and up. You will earn a certificate by attending this empowering class. Our workshop lead is Kimberly Anderson and features a segment from SAFE Family Justice Center. A testimony will be given by Dawn Schultz, founder of The Dresses and Dreams Project. To sign up, please RSVP by contacting dressesanddreamsproject@gmail.com. Community service hours can be earned by high school students taking this class.

Volunteer Meeting January 30

We are inviting new volunteer prospects to join our sisterhood, as well as a fond welcome to seasoned volunteers. Do you have a passion for the mission and vision of our organization? Interested in helping out? To find out all about the Dresses and Dreams Project and the 2021 vision and opportunities to serve, please see the post below and email us for the zoom link for our first meeting of the year! Let’s spread hope and love and shine our lights, the world needs it and our youth certainly do. We will need approximately 50 volunteers for our grad event and dress giveaway in the spring!

Dream Big- 2021 Grad Event Vision

LET’S DREAM BIG!

From the wild ride of 2020 to pressing through the storm to see the sun shine again in 2021. Fiercely! Our vision is to have an event that will honor our Class of 2021 grad girls this year, as the uncertainty of prom and senior events have caused hope of these activities to fade as schools remain closed due to virus lockdowns.

Last year was a shock. No one knew what was next or how long of a season we were in for. This year, we want to say goodbye to 2020’s disappointments and hello to hope, courage, and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel because the guarantee is that the storm always ends. ALWAYS. So let’s have some fun and celebrate you grads and the wonder and potential the future has , with your name written all over it. It’s time to get excited again. It’s time to believe. To hope. To live. To dream.

With appropriate support and funding, we will plan an outdoor event and dress giveaway for the Class of 2021~ beautiful dress giveaway, photography, music, goodies, resources, referrals. You get it. Let’s honor you. Because that’s how we roll. We are the Dresses and Dreams Project. We’ve got the dresses. And your dreams matter.

To volunteer with The Dresses and Dreams Project, and help at this tentative event, please begin by filling out the volunteer form on this site, and attend the January 30 volunteer meeting on zoom. Potential volunteers will share any talent or treasure they have, and a few hours of their time a month. Many opportunities to serve! Stay tuned for more info!

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