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140 Smiles, 140 Accomplishments, 140 Lives Changed for the Better

posted by The Princess Shop    |   October 2, 2018 15:36

by April Donauer

The trees are already looking bare, we have a couple of snowy days under our belts, and grad season seems like a lifetime ago. All the same, we would like to take some time and reflect on our 2018 Princess Graduates. They are strong, they are intelligent, they are brave, and they are GRADUATED. Here at The Princess Shop, we feel a sense of pride when we send out the dresses on grad days. Each dress belongs to a girl who has reached a truly special milestone and each girl has had her own journey. We celebrate each journey and congratulate each achievement. 

This past grad season was a truly remarkable one. What made it particularly special was that it could not have been possible without the support of our community. We had volunteers help mend dresses, volunteers assist in appointments, businesses that donated funds, hair services given, make-up services given, photography services given, and dresses donated. All this to say, The Princess Shop had been able to give back because so much has been given through the support of our community. Thank-You.  

One of the most breathtaking moments of grad season is when a graduate chooses her dress. Whether it’s sleek and low profile or jeweled and dramatic, each dress represents celebration. It represents a unique story, a unique style, and an exciting beginning. The celebration begins when the Princess Graduate comes to pick out a dress. Sometimes there is excitement in her eyes, sometimes fear. Excitement because she is planning to go all out, fear because she has never worn a dress and maybe it won’t look good on her. Nothing replaces the look in her eyes when she has found the dress. She is no longer fearful because she KNOWS she looks beautiful in the dress.

This year we had 140 dress appointments, 140 looks of nervous excitement, 140 success stories that represented 18 different Saskatchewan communities, and 140 Princess Graduates who have celebrated their achievements (in style). 140 represents the number of dresses that were worn to graduation celebrations this year but The Princess Shop is more than dresses. This year, our graduates received $32,000 of scholarships. They worked hard and are now off on new adventures. We also have new graduates connecting to mentors, connecting to community. 140 represents the number of dream chasers and hard workers.

Although back the school rush has faded, the pumpkin spice craze is upon us, and grad season seems like a lifetime ago, we want to say a special thank-you to our 2018 Princess Graduates. Thank-you for allowing us to be a part of your day. Thank-you for allowing us to sit next to you while you flashed looks of delight in that mirror when you saw how beautiful you looked. Thank-you.  

 

ps. You can be a part of this impact, too! Click here for more information on how to get involved.

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There are so many different ways to step in and get involved...

posted by The Princess Shop    |   September 26, 2018 12:38

Don't have much time to join our volunteer team as a coordinator? No problem. While we are looking for the right people to fill those important roles, we also thrive from the additional support we receive through various ways that don't require year-round commitment.

#1 Follow us on Social Media 
We mean actually following the page and sharing our posts and engaging with them (liking and commenting). This keeps us relevant in the feed and raises awareness of our successes and programs. Maybe you'll be the connection between us and a new sponsor or volunteer? Who knows?

Find us on Facebook & Instagram

#2 Join our Helping Hands list
This is a casual volunteer opportunity and the commitment is when you choose it to be! Those on our Helping Hands list receive emails when we are seeking help. Those who can, sign up; those who cannot, continue with their day as if nothing happened. No stress! Options range from Glass Slipper event help to Dress Appointment support. Email us with your contact information if you're interested! Contact us to put your name and email on this list.

#3 Coming Forward with a Special Skill You'd Like to Contribute
Do you enjoy sewing? There are plenty of small sewing jobs on dresses that range from beginner to expert. We have sewing supplies here so you can just come on in during our office hours and repair some dresses! Other ideas are running errands for us such as picking up donations from our donation partners, or coming forward with a fundraising idea!

#4 Attend an Event (and Bring All Your Friends)
As a small nonprofit organization doing big things in our community, we really rely on support from all angles. We do our own fundraising throughout the year, and would love to have you attend one of our many amazing events throughout the year (hint: Save the Date for April 10th - Glass Slipper Benefit).

#5 Join our Core Volunteer Team
Okay - so we have to add this option in just in case! Are you ready to jump in and be a part of the decision-making and direct impact? Check out our volunteer positions currently open by clicking here. Being a part of the core team provides so much benefit such as a new perspective, practicing real interpersonal and professional skills, enhancing your creative brainstorming, and seeing your ideas come to life because we can!

We are always happy to help and answer your questions, so contact us!

From a Volunteer's Perspective: The Princess Shop Experience

posted by The Princess Shop    |   September 10, 2018 14:34

Stepping into the role of Volunteer Representative is not what you would expect, or at least in comparison to my own previous volunteer experience, not what I expected.

It's been more than - and better than - I envisioned. Every week I attend a weekly meeting with a group of successful and motivating women. We're surrounded by beautiful donated gowns, shoes and accessories. We brainstorm, goal set, get off track for a moment and laugh, and are constantly re-evaluating every aspect of the organization to ensure we have a positive impact on not only our Princess Graduates but our community as whole. By the end of the meeting, were assigned chosen tasks to meet our goals and out into the community we go. We fundraise, network with donors and sponsors and build lasting relationships. 

While this is happening, me and other Volunteer Representatives along with individuals from our list of 'Helping Hands', conduct dress appointments which is by far, one of the most fulfilling duties. We simply consult with the graduate about her wants and needs for grad day and beyond. We outline the different programs The Princess Shop offers and ultimately attempt to be the bridge between adversity and prosperity. Once graduation season arrives, it's a whirlwind of wearing many different hats. We go from being a graduate's personal assistant to being a team player of the salons were in and out of. 

Every so often, were pulled aside by a graduate who feels graduation and everything that comes with this major achievement, would not be possible without the organization. Rather it was through lending her a dress, providing her with a scholarship or simply being a mentor in her life, we've alleviated hardship in more ways than one. We're thanked and told that we should be proud of the work we do. And when the graduates acknowledge our work and display appreciation for all that we do, it is only a bonus. Because I can tell you, that is not why myself or our team, volunteer for The Princess Shop. 

I volunteer because of everything I just shared with you. Though it is only a glimpse of the expectations and experiences that come with the position. If you read between the lines, it's quite easy to recognize that this organization pushes you to become better for yourself and the community. It's a doorway to seeing what community means and what our community offers. It's a way to feel empowered through empowering other women. It further develops various life skills that one utilizes in their everyday life. Skills such as Communication and Leadership skills. And it overall provides you with an experience that changes your life while changing others' lives

Chelsey is one of a group of amazing individuals who make The Princess Shop a magical place through their passion and dedication. Does this sound like your kind of crew? We are looking to fill some more roles and would love to have you if this post spoke to you. Click here!

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5 Benefits to Volunteering at The Princess Shop

posted by The Princess Shop    |   August 29, 2018 16:30

Volunteering at The Princess Shop provides so many life-changing opportunities for individuals – and we aren’t just talking about the 1,000+ at-risk women we have impacted on graduation day and beyond with our additional programming offering mentorship or scholarships… but the volunteers!

At The Princess Shop, our volunteers aren’t here to just do menial tasks (okay, about twice a year they will stuff envelopes), they are here to create the impact. This comes in many forms throughout the seasons of a year, but where it is truly special is through the opportunity to not just be a part of the impact, but create the impact through building opportunities, solving problems, an generating new ideas and goals.

There are so many benefits to volunteering at The Princess Shop, but here are a few key highlights:

1-Positive Team Culture – this is our secret weapon. We are all in this together to create the impact. Everyone’s ideas are welcomed to the table. In addition, this means no one is ever alone. We work as a team to complete tasks and keep the momentum moving forward.

2-Empower – through our positive team culture, volunteers at The Princess Shop become empowered to bring ideas to the table that will change lives. For example, Jasmine, our Next Chapter Program Coordinator, thought of the idea for a housing scholarship to assist with living costs for a Princess Graduate attending post-secondary schooling. The result? A full year free rent with Boardwalk. This idea emerged in autumn of 2017, and our first recipient of this scholarship got the keys to her new home August 2018.

3-Creativity – as a small nonprofit organization, we have the power to make our decisions to best suit the organization. This means we get to exercise our creativity skillsets when it comes to problem solving and idea generation.

4-Learning – interpersonal and professional skills are a major takeaway for volunteer team members. Part of this comes from confidence built through our positive team culture and putting into practice skills that make real-life results.

5-Fulfillment – again, being a direct impact on the lives of at-risk students as they prepare for graduation, post-secondary, career, and life goals, comes with direct fulfillment. We are so proud of our Princess Graduates when they reach that graduation day milestone, get accepted into post-secondary, or get a great job. We help motivate them at their dress appointments by sharing with them all of the opportunities to continue to be a part of The Princess Shop community.

Interested in joining us yet?  Visit this page to check out our amazing volunteer opportunities.

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

Karen Robson, Executive Director

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

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