Dreams Come True wants all graduates dressed to the nines

·2 min read

A local program is hoping to make dreams come true this prom season by providing graduating students in need with no-cost attire.

The program, Dreams Come True, was established by retired educator Shirley Greenfield earlier this year. Having worked in the school system, Greenfield says she saw a need for the program, as some students wished to attend prom but couldn’t due to financial constraints.

“Dreams Come True hopes to provide attire to students – both male and female – who don’t have the means to purchase their own grad clothing and accessories,” Greenfield told the News. “We want to make them feel as special as every other student.

“Prom is a rite of passage and a celebration for these kids. They’ve worked 12 years to get to this point, and they should be able to celebrate it.”

While Dreams Come True is in its inaugural year of operations, Greenfield has operated a similar program in Medicine Hat before a move from the city forced her to stop. Upon her return, she contacted many of her former community partners who were happy to provide support.

She is also working with local high school staff, who provide her information to students, so they can contact her through whatever means they are most comfortable.

Greenfield understands it can be awkward or embarrassing for students to not have the financial means to purchase prom attire, and so confidentiality and kindness play a large role in the Dreams Come True program. Often, Greenfield doesn’t even know the students’ last names.

“(I want) kids to be able to reach out knowing there’s no judgment – there’s no ridicule,” she said. “It’s a safe place where they’re made to feel special.”

To make the experience enjoyable for students, Greenfield has organized several try-on nights, which will be hosted in local clothing stores. However, students may take part in individual try-on sessions if they would prefer.

So far, Greenfield has heard positive feedback from students, something which has motivated her to keep the program going in the future.

“Students have told me that if this program wasn’t in existence, they wouldn’t be going to grad because they wouldn’t have the outfit,” she said.

Greenfield sends thanks to her community partners and the many individuals who assisted her, including Hranco Industries, South Side Laundry and Dry Cleaning, Downtown Fashion Kare, Magic Moments Bridal, Shoppers Drug Mart, Hill Barber Shop, Medicine Hat Nissan and St. Barnabas Church.

“They’re just helping make that dream come true,” she said.

Anyone interested in supporting Dreams Come True or in need of prom attire, is invited to connect with Greenfield at shirleyagreenfield@yahoo.com.

KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Medicine Hat News

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