Helping a High School Student in Shelter Attend Homecoming

When women and children first come through the doors of our shelter, they have had to give up many things — their home, many of their community ties and oftentimes, access to finances. But they also give up something else — many of the little things and the milestones that make up a childhood.

“A mom and three children recently entered our shelter and both mom and the kids had been abused at home,” said Assistant Shelter Director Lisa Horne.

Like many who come to shelter, Horne explained, the mother was wracked with guilt about the things she could no longer provide for her children.

“In counseling, her daughter, a freshman in high school, mentioned that she wouldn’t be able to go to homecoming,” Horne said. “They had no money for a dress or the $20 ticket and her mother felt really bad about it, so our volunteers and staff brainstormed about what to do.”

A call was placed to Family Shelter’s Second Chance Resale Shop Director of Resale Operations, Kath Camasto, and she indicated that three homecoming dresses had recently been donated. Clients are able to shop at Family Shelter’s resale shops in Westmont and Naperville free of charge and one of the dresses was a perfect fit.

To complete the outfit, a staff member brought in a pair of dress shoes to go with the dress and a hotline volunteer donated the $20 ticket to the homecoming dance.

“When we made the offer of the dress, shoes and ticket to mom, she broke down and cried,” Horne said. “And when the big night came, it was a huge success,” she continued. “The daughter had such a fantastic time that after she arrived back at the shelter she spent the rest of evening dancing and singing.”