NORTH LIMA, Ohio (WYTV) – This week’s Hometown Heroes run a local non-profit that’s trading community service for gorgeous gowns, all while giving once-in-a-lifetime, fairy-tale experiences to girls across our area.
Last month, we brought you the story of DIVA Donations, and soon after it aired on TV, we got several inspiring emails nominating these self-proclaimed “fairy godmothers” as Hometown Heroes.
“It started as such a tiny little idea and to know that people have been touched in this community to the point that I was named Hometown Hero and this organization was named Hometown Heroes is just wonderful,” said Kristin Bodendorfer, founder of DIVA Donations.
DIVA Donations has been giving girls in need a once-in-a-lifetime Cinderella experience for the last 7-and-a-half years.
The non-profit is a labor of love, run solely by a wonderful team of volunteers who refer to themselves as fairy godmothers.
“I’m just the legs. I just started it but I have a strong faith and my faith told me, ‘Keep going, I’ve got bigger plans for this,'” Bodendorfer said.
“It’s what Kristin has been deserving for a very long time. We are kind of the behind-the-scenes gals and she really stays in the forefront as far as spreading the word and getting it out there and making sure we’re getting donations,” said Susan Shank, a fairy godmother.
To date, the group has served over 1,800 girls across three states.
The store in North Lima is open year-round for any girl who has a special event coming up, not just for prom or homecoming.
“It feels great to know that the community appreciates what we’re doing and still is touched and hopefully inspired by what we’re doing here,” said Allison Saxon, another fairy godmother.
Plus, the atmosphere alone will warm your heart.
“The feeling that you get when you’re in here is just the reason why a lot of the volunteers keep coming back. With just how encouraging they are, and the girls too, one girl will walk out of the room and another girl will say, ‘You look absolutely stunning, you’re beautiful in that dress,'” said Tammy Engle, a fairy godmother.
They’re also inspiring young girls to pay it forward by donating two hours of their time to community service while relieving the financial stress on families with their “Kind Deed Currency Program.”
“We’re hoping that it not just encourages them to give back but empowers them and also inspires them to be better people and just help others,” Saxon said.
DIVA Donations is open Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until noon by appointment only.
They’re always looking for dresses and monetary donations, as well as volunteers.