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A Year in the Life of a Core Volunteer

posted by The Princess Shop    |   July 5, 2019 11:30

Written by Sarah Hadley.

In May of 2018, I had just finished my first year of university at the UofS. I had a job at a local company that was offering me casual hours, so I was on the search for a second job over the summer. In my job search, I came across a posting for a volunteer representative position at The Princess Shop. Not even knowing what The Princess Shop was about, I went ahead and applied anyway. I was in need of volunteer experience for my resume. However, The Princess Shop quickly became so much more than just something to put on my resume.

When I walked into The Princess Shop for the first time, I was surprised to see so many dresses. I would later find out that the quantity of dresses is in the thousands. I was also surprised to see a woman sitting at a desk who I thought might have been a volunteer (with super cool glasses), it was Karen. Karen interviewed me and I was instantly inspired by her and what The Princess Shop stands for. I soon became the newest member of the core volunteer team. I attended my first meeting and I was… confused. It was the middle of grad season and there was a whirlwind of things going on, I had a lot to learn, but I was determined to catch up. I shadowed a dress appointment and got to meet my first Princess Graduates. Soon, grad season was over, and The Princess Shop was coming to its end of year in July. We had the first fundraiser I would attend, and I was blown away by the effort and skill that goes into planning these events and making sure everything runs smoothly.

Over the summer, I helped plan and volunteered at a few fundraisers put on by The Princess Shop. At the end of the summer, we had a lot of changes to the core team and I was nervous about welcoming new members to the team and no longer being the ‘newbie’. Soon after, we started planning The Glass Slipper, our biggest annual fundraiser that takes place every April. I was so in awe of how huge this event really was. I had never attended before, so I was unsure of exactly the magnitude of it. We brought in our Glass Slipper Coordinator, Colleen, and I was blown away by the efforts that she and Karen put in to put all of this together. From October to March, we were in full planning mode every Thursday night to put this together (with Colleen and Karen putting full-time effort into the planning). It was an intense process, and it seriously paid off. The morning of the Glass Slipper I had a final exam, so I wasn’t there for the setup. But when I made it to TCU Place I was awestruck. The venue was so gorgeous and extravagant. It exceeded every expectation I had of the event and immediately all of the work that we had put in for the last few months had paid off. Even with a couple of bumps in the road, The Glass Slipper Benefit in 2019 turned out to be a huge success, and it will be a night I will likely never forget.

After The Glass Slipper, more and more dress appointments started rolling in. I was excited to finally be leading dress appointments having had the proper training. No dress appointment goes completely smoothly, but I think that’s part of the beauty of it. There will always be bumps in the road, but watching the graduates pick out their beautiful dresses is such a fulfilling experience for me. I enjoy lacing up corsets and the graduates trying on their jewellery. Some will facetime family and friends when they think they’ve found ‘the dress’ and get their approval. I was and still am so excited about dress appointments because no matter what, there is always so much happiness in The Shop during this time. Finally, grad days came around. I had my first grad day recently. It was panicky and rushed but it was also amazing. The big day had finally come for these women. The day that is the reason The Princess Shop exists.

At the end of it all, a Princess Graduate had told me how grateful she was for me this day and everything was made so worth it and the panic and craziness of the day was forgotten. It’s been an insane year. From being the new kid to veteran volunteer, I have become not only a better volunteer for The Princess Shop, but I have also become a better person. The Princess Shop, and outgoing Executive Director, Karen, have inspired me so much. I can’t wait to see what the Next Chapter of The Princess Shop looks like with our new Executive Director, Kelsey, and I can’t wait to continue to contribute to making an impact in our community. There is no other experience like this one, and I am so lucky to have found The Princess Shop.

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The Princess Shop
our location
12 - 1622 Ontario Avenue
Saskatoon, SK S7K 1S8
t: 306-222-3311

Kelsey Murphy, Executive Director

Office Hours:
Mondays: 9am - 12pm, 1pm - 6pm
Tuesdays: 9am - 1pm
Thursdays: 12pm - 8pm

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