Glass Slipper Project holds 20th annual dress drive

Doubling last year’s total, the group collected 442 dresses

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Glass Slipper Project holds 20th annual dress drive

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This year, New Trier collected 442 dresses for the Glass Slipper Project, more than doubling last year’s total.

Sixty-nine pairs of shoes, 70 accessories, and over 100 makeup products were also collected, along with approximately $300 in cash donations.

This year, a group of seven junior girls—Grace Garrou, Torie Hardt, Cavan Pellegrino, Nina Pofcher, Anna Shah, Yael Shaw, and Olivia Sergot—worked together with Junior Girls’ Adviser Chair Patricia Sheridan, Department Assistant Sue Buck, and Business Education teacher Melissa Duffy to make the project a success.

The Glass Slipper Project is a nonprofit organization with the goal of making prom more affordable to students in the Chicago area. They collect and give away new and gently used dresses and other items to low-income juniors and seniors who want to attend prom but have budgetary constraints.

All of these items are free of charge; students simply have to provide a valid student ID.

According the Glass Slipper Project website, “Since 1999, the Glass Slipper Project has helped more than 20,000 young women attend their Proms in style.”

Donating to the Glass Slipper Project has been a junior class initiative for the past five years, although the school as a whole has been involved in the project for more than a decade.

Sheridan, one of the staff members involved in this project, said that participating in the Glass Slipper Project is particularly important to the school because it allows students and staff to give back to the community.

Sheridan credited this year’s success to the hard work and dedication of the students involved.
“This is the first year that we had a student group that came forward and volunteered to help organize the collections,” said Sheridan.

According to Shaw, the group worked to spread the message about the collection in as many ways as possible, in order to maximize the amount of donations.

“This included making an Instagram account, a Snapchat account, collages, working closely with the New Trier Instagram and Facebook, posting on NextDoor, making a QR code, putting up a dress display to keep track of donations, going on the morning announcements and the bulletin, and ultimately all of our work culminated into one video,” said Shaw.

The whole process—planning, raising awareness, and collecting the dresses/accessories—took approximately a month.

After the drive was completed, the dresses were handed off to Zengeler Cleaners to be repaired, cleaned, and delivered to the Glass Slipper pop-up “boutiques.”

The boutiques were open from 6 A.M. to 4 P.M. on Saturday, Mar. 30, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 6.

Although New Trier fell just short of its goal to collect and donate 500 dresses, the students who spearheaded this year’s drive feel proud of the impact they made.

“New Trier has so many great resources and people who are willing to help, so it’s a perfect thing for New Trier to be involved in,” said Hardt.

With our own prom coming up, Pellegrino said that the project is a perfect way to remind students that not everyone is able to afford the expenses that come with prom.

“While many students at New Trier have the luxury of being able to get a dress for their prom night, that is not always the case,” said Pellegrino.

Pofcher agreed that students here don’t always consider the monetary obstacles to the traditional high school experience.

“At New Trier, it is common for girls to spend up to $150 on a dress and never wear it again. It is something we take for granted.”

Shah said that the importance of this project goes beyond sequins and stitches.

“It may just seem [like] a dress, but it really represents a dream. Every girl dreams of going to prom and dressing up to be a star for a night. Especially in high school when girls sometimes suffer with low self-esteem and worry about their body image, helping these girls get all dressed up can help them feel beautiful and confident so they can make lasting memories on this special night,” said Shah.

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