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Kids In South Central L.A. Experience The Transformative Power Of Reflection

There’s nothing worse than looking in the mirror and hating what you see. Have you ever had that experience of feeling shame at your own reflection?

We believe that beauty — beauty with meaning — is on the inside. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. That kind of beauty springs from deep within our souls.

Our kids are beautiful ... they just don’t always see it.

You’d be amazed by their inner strength. So many have overcome challenges you couldn’t even imagine. Their resilience is awesome. And their courage, inspiring.

They’re beautiful kings and queens, princes and princesses. But, when they look in the mirror, that’s not always the reflection they see...

What if there was a way to dress them up so their outside reflected their beauty within? At A Place Called Home, there is.

The Cinderella & Prince Charming Project

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Most of the kids and families in our community don’t have the resources to buy new clothing — especially for professional opportunities or special events. And, if you don’t think you look good, you may not feel so good about yourself. When you don’t feel good about yourself, success can be nearly impossible to achieve.

Our kids deserve every opportunity to win, succeed, flourish, and thrive that we can provide. They deserve to see their own beauty.

That’s why our Cinderella & Prince Charming Project is so important.

Each spring, A Place Called Home provides teens with formal attire to look and feel their best for proms and graduations. Participating teens experience fun and informative financial, fashion and self-esteem workshops presented by special guests.

This is about way more than just clothes.

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The APCH Cinderella & Prince Charming Project is more than just a lineup of kids who get some nice clothes and then leave. It’s a celebration where we affirm the inner and outer beauty of more than 1,200 boys and girls and build up their self-esteem.

Abram Castaneda, Volunteer Coordinator, shares that this event is also about the power of choice:

“The teens come in for an hour-long appointment. We have sessions on financial literacy, confidence workshops, and other important topics for the teens. Then they go into the boutique and pick out outfits to try on in our dressing rooms. Volunteers from the American Sewing Guild make on-site alterations, so the outfits really fit. Teens wear their new gowns and suits to graduation, prom, and even to job interviews. They don’t have to worry about the price tag and can just focus on what looks and feels best for them.”

The smiles say everything.

You just can’t imagine how meaningful and powerful this experience is for the 1,200 teenagers we serve every year.

It’s a moment they can cherish all their lives as a reminder of their value and worth.

And, as Abram shares:

“They leave with smiles on their faces because they know someone's looking out for them. They feel this sense of confidence and empowerment.”

Here’s where you come in.

We’re already accepting formal wear for this year’s event. Graduation and prom are just around the corner. Can you donate your new or gently used items?

Here’s what we’re looking for:

  • Gowns

  • Dresses

  • Suits

  • Tuxedos

  • Men’s shirts

  • Women’s suits

  • Ties

  • Belts

  • Men’s and women’s shoes

  • Purses

  • Jewelry

  • Cosmetics and other accessories

If you donate gently used clothing, don’t forget — we treat our kids like royalty, so please be sure to dry clean and press the clothing before you drop it off.

Want to find out more? Go here.