Beautiful, inside and out
Construction is underway on the donated space but our wonderful supporters aren't sitting back and waiting to minister to at-risk girls. Adorned In Grace and 76 gifted volunteers hosted their second annual Dress for FREEdom on Saturday, April 13, 2013 in Portland, Oregon.
For every 10 underage girls trapped in the world of sex-trafficking, 8-9 have been in the foster care system. The Dress for FREEdom event was an opportunity to reach out to girls ages 12-18 who are currently living in foster care, shelters, or working with a DHS caseworker. The goal of this event is to connect with young girls at perhaps the most vulnerable time of their lives to tell and show them that they are incredibly valuable, uniquely created and deeply loved. Caring volunteers encourage them to become advocates with us on behalf of their at-risk friends, family and classmates, rather than becoming victims.
During the event, 38 girls enjoyed a catered buffet complete with chocolate fountain, received a professional makeover and hair styling, picked out a semiformal dress to take home and even have custom, on-site alterations as needed. They had fun with nail art, made their own accessories and as a special memento of their celebration, each girl received a gift bag and her own professional photo package. All at no cost to them.
Each girl was invited to “adopt-a-dress”, choosing a gorgeous wedding or formal gown from another era that they will learn to re-design or repurpose through the Adorned in Grace Design Studio workshops. An Adopt-a-Dress kickoff is scheduled for May 4th from 1-4 at the Compassion Connect Design Studio.
Two caseworkers reported that one of the girls they brought to the event had been in their shelter for 3 months and had never smiled. When they held the mirror up after having her hair styled, she broke into a huge smile that blew them away. It remained on her sweet face the entire day.
Two Design Studio leaders shared their own stories: one of being abducted, drugged and trafficked for two years in her early teens and the other of being born to a 13-year old victim of comercial sexual exploitation and raised in foster care. A long line of girls, many in tears, ran to hug them afterwards and could hardly let go. It meant so much to them that so many among the adult volunteers understood their pain and so many others gave selflessly so that they could be blessed and encouraged.There was a sweet spirit of humble thanksgiving on everyone's part.
Thank you once again for partnering with Adorned in Grace Design Studio and the Dress for FREEdom event. It is an honor and privilege to serve with you.
Linda and the Team
P.S. Seven girls attend our regular after-school, weekly workshop. It is tight but we have a blast! It will be wonderful to have the new space completed so that we can spread the fabrics out and many more girls can join us!
76 Volunteers fully invested
Thankful to be created a woman