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Happy Sunday, everyone! I can’t believe it’s already been two weeks since we last updated you – time is seriously going by way too fast.

Here we are, less than T H R E E weeks away from our big day. I wanted to just give a brief recap of the wonderful progress we are making on the 2014 event.

So the last update included a thanks to Gown Boutique for their donation but failed to actually put any of the pieces on display – so here ya go:


These are some of the longer beauties…


And here are some of the shorter options

Last Saturday, I was able to stop by The Trunk Show to pick up a very generous monetary donation from Ms. McKenna. She also treated us to some fantastic threads – check ’em out:



Then on Monday, I met up with the one and only Tessa Spencer for a radio spot on 99.7. And, I must confess I put her (unintentionally) on the spot and invited her out to our event on March 8th. Fingers crossed!

We also got written confirmation from Stacey at Cupcake that they will honor our May 2013 (Yep, that says May 2013, we really do plan this MONTHS in advance) request for cupcakes for the event.

What other sweet treats will we be able to serve 3.8.14? Well, we heard that Iacofano’s will be donating four large pans of cinnamon rolls for our big day. Yummm.

Laura, our Donations Coordinator, has also been hard at work. Here are three awesome salons in the Charleston area that have been so incredibly generous with door prize donations:

First up – Strawberry Blonde Salon located in Mt. Pleasant and West Ashley donated a free Up-Do for one lucky lady on her prom night.

Laura also was able to coordinate a pick up at Lordis Loft. They were generous enough to donate 5 gift certificates for us to raffle off for 5 lucky girls to get their hair and makeup done for their special day!


Here’s a photo of Laura picking up the (custom made & printed) donation certificates from Lordis Loft owner, Linzie.

She also snagged six gift certificates from Stacey Goode at Berenice’s Salon located at 441 1/2 King Street.

photo (2)

Giving away these door prizes is to help give some of the young ladies an opportunity for a complete experience. And we are thrilled to announce that Ms. Jones with BellaSensation will be joining us again this year. She was a wonderful addition to our 2012 event and we are looking forward to having her back giving make up tips to the young ladies.


Ms. Jones helping with make up at the 2012 event. She will be back this year!

As if that news wasn’t exciting enough… I thought about reaching out to City of Charleston Councilmember, Dean C. Riegel. He has proven to be a wonderful supporter of the Cinderella Project the last two years. Not only has he helped spread the word about the event within City offices securing several dress donations, but he has also played the crucial role of helping spread the invites to City employees who may be related to a young lady in need.

So with three weeks left, we still need dresses, accessories, volunteers, and gift certificates. Can you ask YOUR salon if they’ll donate? Have you cleaned out your closet? If so, what about sharing our posters within your office? Or the invitation to a girl who can benefit from the project.

Youre Invited

Updates & Thanks

Hello Cinderella followers! Are you ready for an update? We got it for ya:

About two weeks ago we had some crushing news… St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, our venue for the last 13 years, informed us that due to restorations on their sanctuary, they have been holding church services in the auditorium, and as a result we couldn’t host Cinderella there. Okay.. no big deal, except that we were six weeks out from the event . . . posters had already been designed and printed . . . information had be published all over already.

But, we have some incredible ladies working on this project (meet the committee) and rather than throw in the towel, we buckled down, networked our connections, and made some cold calls. Sherry with Martin Luther Lutheran Church (one of our donation locations) met with us to scope out her church as an option . . . favors were called into the College of Charleston to possibly use one of their gyms . . . but today, we toured John Wesley United Methodist Church and are very happy to announce the 2014 Cinderella Project will be held there.

So where?

John Wesley

John Wesley United Methodist Church, 626 Savannah Highway, Charleston, SC 29407.

Great — venue is locked down!

And for those posters that were previously edited and printed with St. Matt’s listed as the venue … Danielle at Ross Printing hooked. us. up. Poster was edited within minutes:



So, what else has happened since we just dished the details about the 2014 event? Lots…

First, we need to send our thanks to AAA Storage downtown on Line Street. Why? Well, because without the storage unit they donate (second year in a row), our houses would look like we belong on A&E show: Hoarders. Seriously, we are all so thankful to have one location to keep the donations leading up to the event date.

What Donations?

Well – Haley who works at Shelly Leeke Law Firm (our Goose Creek donation site) is friends with the manger of Bridals by Jodi and they donated 35-40 new dresses!

Next – this is a quick shout out and thank you to Allison and Bella Bridesmaid of Charleston – one of our three annual sponsors. We will do a feature post on Allison in the coming days, but for now, we need to express our sincere gratitude for her continued support over the years. This year alone, she’s made two donations: the first included 50 new dresses and 10 pairs of shoes; the second totaled 70 new dresses. Some of the donated dresses from last month are shown below:

BB Dresses

That same week, we connected with Taco Boy. Yeah, we took a shot in the dark and tweeted at Taco Boy back on January 10th:

@TacoBoyCHS -Think @ChsCinderella can snag a gift certificate to TB to give away as a door prize so one lucky couple can get dinner b4 prom?

Their response (within 20 minutes):

@ChsCinderella absolutely! email us @ have lots of ladies that work in the restaurants that might want to help/donate!

So we followed up and within a few days we ended up with this:


That is one-hundred-twenty-five dollars in gift certificates! Hello, door prizes!

Speaking of door prizes, our awesome Donation Coordinator Laura Paris Paton reached out to Stella Nova another local business that has supported CP in the past. This year, they graciously donated several gift certificates for make up lessons for some lucky ladies.


Here is a photo of Project Chair Alissa Collins (L) and Laura Paton (R) accepting the gift certificates from the dtown Stella Nova

Pretty great stuff, right? Well, let’s talk about what’s gone on this week (yes, and it’s only Wednesday).

On Monday morning, I headed to Mt. Pleasant and the ABC Channel 4 newsroom to appear on Lowcountry Live! Photo of the “green room” below:


This was my third year appearing and it’s been a wonderful experience every time. LCL is actually how I met the lovely Tessa Spencer  (center photo above) who has also generously assisted with our PR push. This year, we got a six minutes segment (woah!) and in case you missed it, don’t worry, we spotted it posted online and have pasted the link HERE.

On my way back to the office, I passed a SKIRT! stand and remembered… THE FEBRUARY PUBLICATION WAS OUT! Why would that be exciting? Because Margaret Pilarski, Editor, has been a wonderful supporter of our project for years. We hope she knows just how much we appreciate the blurbs in the publication. Go pick up your FREE copy today. But, if you want a little sneak preview – we’ll indulge you:


Exciting Monday. Wait ’til you hear about today. It started with securing our venue at John Wesley United Methodist Church in West Ashley. Then I headed over to Long Point Road because the fabulous owner of Gown Boutique of Charleston, Terri Espy, wanted to donate to the project like she’s done in the past. Shortly thereafter, I left with forty-four new dresses to add to the mix. I’ll take some time to sort through them and will be sure to post photos soon! After leaving Mt. Pleasant, I headed back dtown to work, but not before swinging by the CARTA office on John Street to pick up   o n e   h u n d r e d   one-day bus passes. So for those high school ladies who are concerned about getting to our event, no need to worry. E-mail us ( and we will be sure to get a bus pass in your hands for the event.


We are just about one month out from the event and we are not showing any signs of slowing down. Our “to-do” list consists of:

  • Updating our “order” with Snyder  so they can deliver the “dressing room” tents to our new venue. This great local company has been donating to the CP for the last several years and are wonderful to work with.
  • We also are headed to meet with the owner of The Trunk Show, located at 281 Meeting Street, this Saturday to pick up her annual monetary donation to the project. It’s with these funds that we are able to provide a truly memorable experience for all involved.
  • On Monday, I’ll be on the radio with my fav, Tessa Spencer — check 99.7 starting at 1 pm.
  • Taylor, now with the updated invites in hand, has the crucial task of getting the invites out to local high schools. If you work in a school and would like to share our flyer, shoot us an e-mail and we will get it to you ASAP. Or, if you’re a member of a church and you think there are young ladies in your congregation who can benefit from our event, please please share the details!
  • Carrie is heading up our goodie bag creations this year and she is really excited about it – details to come!  If you work for Mary Kay, Avon, or any other make up line and would be willing to donate samples for us to use a “stuffing” then please contact us! We already heard from Tracy who lives all the way out by Myrtle Beach but is a MK consultant and is excited about donating samples, make up certificates, and her time.

Do you want to volunteer? Ashley is our Volunteer Coordinator this year. Check out the available times in our last post and e-mail us. Spots fill up fast, so sign up today.

Thanks for sticking out the long post! I’m just so overcome with gratitude for all of the local businesses and organizations that have responded so positively to the Cinderella Project. As you’ve heard me say before, remember to support those local business that support local charities.

CP 2014

Are you excited? We are! It’s time to announce all of the details for the 2014 Charleston Cinderella Project. 


Let’s start with a little background for those who might be new to the project:

First, this is a national project — just google Cinderella Project and you will see that events are held across the United States. 

St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church, located at 405 King Street in downtown Charleston, has been hosting the Charleston Cinderella Project since 2001.  It began in the small classroom of the Community Learning Center located next to the church. When I first started volunteering with the project in 2004, we received about 50 donated dresses and had about a dozen young ladies come out for the event. Over the years, the Charleston project has grown at an incredible rate. So much so, that several years ago, we relocated the project to the auditorium of St.Matthew’s.

Each year we spend January, February, and March collecting dresses and accessories such as purses, shawls, shoes, and jewelry. These donations come from individuals, groups – such as Zeta Tau Alpha sorority at the College of Charleston, and companies like Lula Kate and one of our Sponsors: Bella Bridesmaid of Charleston. These donations can be either gently worn dresses (we all have that friend who will wear an outfit only once…) or brand new dresses.

Then, during a Saturday in March, with the help of dozens of volunteers, and wonderful companies like Snyder, we do our best to transform an auditorium into a stylish boutique. Invitations go to all area high schools for girls who may need help in affording something to wear. Music plays, food is served, and help is on hand for each girl to find that perfect dress.

We also give away door prizes including gift certificates to local hair salons, nail salons, and restaurants so the happy couples can enjoy dinner before heading out to prom. Then, as each young lady leaves with her new dress in hand, along with some accessories to match, she is provided with a goodie bag filled with make up samples and personal hygiene products. 


This year’s event will be on Saturday, March 8 from 10:00 am-4:00 pm at St. Matthew’s downtown on King Street.

We will need volunteers for set up the day before (the afternoon of the 7th) and the day of the event from 8:00 am-6:00 pm, in three hour increments.

Volunteers will assist with various things such as set up, break down, acting as a personal shopper for girls, helping keep the floor organized, handing out goodie bags, registration, etc.

If you are interested in continuing our efforts please email with your preferred time slot(s) from those listed below:

Set up on Friday afternoon (March 7: 12:00 til finish)
March 8: 8:00 am-11:00 am
March 8: 10:00 am-1:00 pm
March 8: 1:00 pm-4:00 pm
March 8: Break down from 4:00pm-6:00 pm

We will do our best to accommodate your specific requests. 


I will work on a post introducing you to the 2014 Cinderella Project Team in the next few days. 


Here’s to another successful year in giving back to the Charleston community, one dress at a time! 



Cinderella Project EVE

It’s the night before the big day. So let’s recap:

A handful of some of our BEST volunteers helped transform St. Matthew’s auditorium into a great fashion boutique. All of the help that the Community Center (especially Chris, Leoma, and John) put into organizing the dresses helped save us, literally, hours of work.

I will get a more official count tomorrow, but I think we actually have MORE dresses this year than last. Of course, we only display the best, pulling aside anything ripped, stained, or just not prom appropriate. Luckily, we didn’t have too much of that this year because about half of our dresses are BRAND NEW (and tags to prove it!) We can thank Bella BridesmaidII Brunettes, Warren on King, and Bridals by Jodi for some of these goodies!

Taylor L. and Angie K. have been my like my left and right arm for this year’s project. They both spent an incredible amount of time soliciting donations, including wonderful items from Warren on King and our volunteer tee shifts from The Cotton Exchange. 

Ashley R. also came by today with donations she collected from Clinique, Estee Lauder, and some incredible jewelry from Copper Penny on King Street. Not to mention an amazing door prize from Visage in Belle Hall Shopping Center.

And we’re lucky enough to have Jennifer’s Jemz donate absolutely gorgeous jewelry sets.

Synder came and helped set up the dressing rooms for tomorrow. Even after a small “snafu”, the courteous workers got those rooms up and ready to go.

Also, need to give two special shout outs to Dana Adkins Law Firm and Shelly Leake Law Firm for not only serving as drop off sites for our donations but also for having their donations DELIVERED to our venue site this afternoon.

The mannequins that Banana Republic on King Street donated are a great addition to this year’s decor.

The forecast for tomorrow says: Except for a few afternoon clouds, mainly sunny. High 54F.

Really looking forward to another successful year for CP! Hopefully our contacts through Communities in Schools helped spread the word and we have a line of ladies to get new threads tomorrow.

We will post photos soon.

Update on Progress Report

We are about ONE MONTH out from the big day. For those following the progress, I just wanted to provide a quick update:

The Cupcake Request: Eliza Chidester emailed me saying YES we will be able to get a donation for our event – SUCH great news and these are SO good!

We we also fortunate enough to be on air with Tessa and Baby J on 99.7 to talk about the project. We’ve had a great response from those who heard us, so big thank you goes out to Tessa for inviting me on! (—Baby-Jay/12651245)

I’m happy to report we received the following email from Charleston ZTA Alumnae group:

We are the ZTA alumnae group (graduates from all over the country). We knew the ZTA collegiates at C of C were a huge help last year, so we wanted to participate this year by getting dress donations at our workplaces,etc.. We have about 20 dresses and tons of jewelry to donate. I’m sure they will have even more, so I can just drop the stuff off at a location if that’s easier.

Love seeing how involved the community had become.

And for some of the biggest news:  We heard from committee member Angie that Charleston Cotton Exchange agreed to DONATE 75 tee shirts for our volunteers this year! Incredible news. That’s $$ we won’t be spending on “overhead” and can go to benefitting the wonderful young ladies who attend our event.

And for those of you who have following the project from the early days, here is a newspaper I found yesterday from the 2005 project.


We’ve come a long way. So proud of this project, especially the volunteers and donors that make it happen.

Alright – now it’s time for me to plea for donations and time. We are just about 1 month out from our event date (3/2/13). We will need help setting up. This is an incredible chance to really see the transformation of auditorium into boutique. This task requires lots of help to sort dresses, set up check in and check out, decorate our dressing rooms, etc. Please email us at to sign up to help! 🙂

CP2013 Progress Report

Happy Sunday everyone!

Now that we are about 6 weeks out from the BIG DAY, I wanted to give a status report and where we stand.

Taylor and I decided to work together again for the 2013 project. It’s wonderful having a teammate in planning this event as it’s grown so much over the last 10+ years.

We continue to have the huge support of our partner Allison with Bella Bridesmaid (

We are excited to announce we have Angie Kulenguski serving as our Volunteer Coordinator for CP2013! Send an email to for more information or to sign up to volunteer. This year’s event will be March 2, 2013.

We started this year’s event with the wonderful news that AAA Storage in downtown Charleston was willing to donate a unit so that we had a proper place to store the donations for the 3/2/13 event.

Then, with the help of two local graphic designers, Digit from Ross Printing ( and Elyse, Owner of Elyse Witt Salamon Design, LLC, helped edit last year’s posters. Check them out:

Donation Poster:


Invitation Poster:


And we are SO thankful to Snyder Event Rentals ( for donating our “dressing rooms”.

Banana Republic on King Street is donated 5 mannequins to the Cinderella Project which will definitely help spice up our boutique!

Lowcountry Live had us on Friday, January 4, 2013 to talk about the project and solicit donations. We’re hoping to go on again so that we can invite the high school girls to the event.  I would have loved to post the link to the segment, but it costs $35 to request a copy and we don’t believe in spending Cinderella Funds on anything operational. We want all of the money donations to go back to the girls somehow (i.e. good bags!) But, here’s a photo of our mannequins that made a cameo on LCL:


We’ve also confirmed that we will have the wonderful CINDERELLA CARRIAGE again this year. Here’s a photo from last year:


Let’s see…

I’ve been told by my fellow project chair, Taylor, that we have FOUR boxes of donations from Warren on King. Can’t wait to see what goodies we have from them. (

I met this afternoon with Jodi who was the owner of a bridal shop in the Charleston area that recently closed up shop. Luckily, she thought of CINDERELLA PROJECT when she was deciding what to do with dresses, shoes, shawls, and gloves she had remaining.

I’ve also submitted the donation request to Cupcake ( as they’ve donated every year for a few years now, and those cupcakes are always a favorite!

We still need:

– Dresses

– Shoes

– Purses

– Shawls

– Volunteers

– Goodie bag stuffings (i.e. samples of perfume, make up, nail polish, etc)

– Door prizes (gift certificates to hair and nail salons, and restaurants)

– Donations so we can buy food for the event day.

If you want to help in ANY WAY email us at


2013 is HERE

Happy New Year Everyone!

Now that 2013 is here, it is time to really start planning for the 2013 Cinderella Project. This year’s event will be on Saturday, March 2, 2013. It will be held at the same location as the past 12 years: St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church on King Street in downtown Charleston.

We are currently in search of donations:

– Dresses

– Jewelry

– Purses

– Shawls

– Gift Certificates

– Money

If you are interested in donating, we have several drop off sites. Please refer to the side panel to the right for a full listing of the drop off locations. If you want to donate money, contact Alissa Collins directly at

As you may know, we are a 501(c)(3) so those donations ARE tax-deductible.

We are really looking forward to having another successful project and we cannot do it without your help.

For information on previous events, feel free to scroll though this blog, check out our Facebook page, or follow us on Twitter.

Thank you

We had an incredible event yesterday. I want to thank all of the volunteers from set up, to shop time, to break down – thank you all so much.


I will post pictures and stats within the next few days. And a detailed recap will be posted as well.


I’m taking today off and will be back soon! 🙂 Hope all the girls are loving their new dresses.