“Just around the corner in every woman’s mind is a lovely dress, a wonderful suit or an entire costume, which will make an enchanting new creature of her” – Wilhela Cushman.
Volunteer advocate Victoria Sanchez hopes to fulfill her aspiration for volunteer work through her newest community project called “Dream Girls; Prom to Princess.”
This event is meant to enable local high school girls in San Antonio to realize their dreams of going to prom. Sanchez anticipates successfully hosting her second annual Dream Girls Dress Drive now located at Saint Mathew’s Church Hall Saturday, March 26, from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
“I want to provide the girls with a good foundation: the dress,” Sanchez said. “At my first drive we collected about 350 dresses. This time around I’m expecting to get somewhere close to 400.”
Sanchez’s goal is to turn these girls into the princesses they never thought they could be.
“It makes them feel so good to have a dress,” Sanchez said.
She highlighted the positive aspect of giving to the community and bringing that into her home.
“I always tell my son, ‘give back because you’ll get back’,” Sanchez said, “and doors will open for you.”
After the success of the first drive, with a telephone book as her resource, Sanchez began to make phone calls.
“I would go around talking to schools and calling businesses for sponsorships in regards to the girls needing dresses. We had responses from all over,” Sanchez said.
Aiding in getting the word out for donations is communication major Samuel Valdez, who runs the Unity PR for UTSA’s PRSSA (The Public Relations Student Society of America) chapter.
This student-run firm assists in the opportunity to gain hands-on experience while preparing students to enter the public relations profession. When Valdez saw an opportunity to help kick-start the event, he got right on it.
“This is going to be my second semester as a member and my first semester as an officer,” Valdez said. “With this being my first event, I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much, but once the word gets out I’m really expecting to see a lot of donations.”
Valdez and his team are putting together a donation station in the UTSA Sombrilla patio March 21-23 from 1-5 p.m. They hope to get a big response from the female population at UTSA.
“I had this one girl tell us she was already going to be donating five dresses,” Valdez said. “I never would have thought someone would be so willing to donate that amount. That’s pretty cool!”
Donors will receive a token for each dress given.
On March 23, a raffle will be held in which the donors will get a chance to win special prizes ranging from gift cards, UTSA memorabilia and store merchandise from sponsors such as L&M Bookstore, Taco Cabana, Express, Red Lobster and Starbucks.
One thing Valdez emphasized was their facebook page, facebook.com/dreamgirlsprom.
“I’m really trying to encourage people to ‘like’ our page,” Valdez said. “That way we can stay in contact with the donors as we post how the fundraiser is going, friendly reminders about when and where the drop stations will be located on campus and also to post winners of the raffle.”