An outdoor drive-by donation and bottle drive held by Langley’s Fairy Godmother Foundation was a “huge success” according to Teresa Gentle, one of the foundation executive members who volunteered at the three-hour event, held at the REMAX Treeland parking lot on Saturday, Jan. 8.
Gentle explained the foundation, which collects formal wear for Langley grads, had to try something different, because COVID restrictions meant many of the businesses who usually act as drop-off points have had to limit people coming and going from their premises.
“We’ve never done this before,” Gentle told the Langley Advance Times.
“We didn’t know what to expect.”
What they got were boxes, filled with graduation outfits.
“Most of the people who were delivering were mother-daughter,” Gentle said.
A total of 30 graduation gowns and 10 suits, all of recent vintage, have been added to the inventory the foundation stores at Aldergrove Community Secondary School (ACSS).
In June of 2021, with most graduation ceremonies cancelled because of the pandemic, the foundation still managed to provide a grad experience to 27 students from Langley’s Vanguard Secondary School for students with developmental and generational traumas.
“It was our own little kind of event,” Gentle remarked, with the kids coming in a few at a time to get dressed up and have pictures taken in the ACSS hallway.
“They start out uncomfortable and awkward, and by the time they leave, they’re posing like models,” Gentle recalled.
Gentle praised Vanguard teacher Angie Macinnes, as well as the Aldergrove school and its students for assisting.
Fairy Godmother Foundation was founded by Lizette Etsebeth to provide services such as grad dresses, evening wear and accessories to grads in the Langley area throughout the grad year.
After moving to Langley from South Africa, Etsebeth said her and her husband were shocked at the expense of having a graduating student.
In pre-pandemic times, students would pick out their outfit with their “fairy godmother” from a variety of dresses, suits, shirts, shoes, ties and accessories. They would also receive hair and makeup services, and a professional photo taken at no cost.
Anyone wishing to contribute grad outfits to the foundation can get in touch through their Facebook “Fairy Godmother Foundation” page, or their website, https://fairygodmotherfoundation.ca or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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