Local non-profit trades community service for gorgeous gowns, fairytale experience

Local News

Getting asked to a dance can be such an exciting time in any girl’s life, but getting the dress of your dreams can often be overwhelming, especially when it comes to finances.

So, one local non-profit called Diva Donations in North Lima has made it their mission to change that.

Diva Donations gives girls in need a once in a lifetime Cinderella experience.

The non-profit is a labor of love, run solely by a wonderful team of volunteers. It was started by a local mother, her four daughters and 15 dresses, and has only grown in the last seven and a half years.

“Through this absolutely amazing organization, we’ve served over 1,800 girls in our community in three states, Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia,” said founder Kristin Bodendorfer.

The group truly believes that no girl should ever miss a magical night because she has nothing to wear.

“There’s so many girls who look in that mirror and they have a changing moment where they thought they would never look like that … it makes them feel so good and they light up and that’s what makes you keep coming back and volunteering,” said volunteer and “fairy godmother” Allison Saxon.

The way it works is the girls put a $25 or $35 deposit down which includes a dress, shoes and jewelry. They get the money back after donating two hours of their time to community service. It’s called the “Kind Deed Currency Program.”

“Basically, we’re relieving the financial stress on families. We’re empowering the girls to help themselves and we’re encouraging the girls to give back to the community,” Bodendorfer said.

“You can give us a letter saying that you volunteered or you can sign up to volunteer here. We always need volunteers,” Saxon said.

The store is open year-round for any girl who has a special event coming up, not just for prom or homecoming.

“You can’t really pick a wrong dress, it’s amazing,” said Abby Palmer, a junior at Canfield High School.

A truly unforgettable experience for everyone who walks through the doors.

“It really is changing someone’s life, not just providing them with a dress and shoes and jewelry for one night,” Saxon said.

Diva Donations is open Thursdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. until noon, by appointment only. You can schedule an appointment by calling 330-540-8327 or visiting their website at www.divadonations.com.

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