When I started Operation Prom Girl, I NEVER expected that this would grow so quickly! I moved to the Inland Valley Empire (Wildomar) a mere three years ago and had a vision straight from God- of helping a handful of local girls attend their prom.
I remember that someone had helped my oldest daughter attend prom with all the bells and whistles I could not afford as a single mother, I also remember how I had not attended the big day myself. Seeing my friends pictures – even to this day, thanks to social media- really made me feel like I once again had missed out on something that was almost a “rite of passage” for many.
I came from Los Angeles as a makeup artist of 20 years , to the Inland Valley Empire. I worked for big companies like Chanel, MAC, Estée Lauder, etc etc… I spent most of my children’s growing years working constantly, and traveling on LA/OC freeways. One thing I remembered, and what set so deeply in my heart, was the fact that the makeup chair magically became a counseling room. No matter the demographic, no matter the makeup line, how much money somebody had or didn’t have; all of us- women of all ages- have something to say. We ALL have a story to tell.
I grew up in Long Beach, and then Norwalk, CA , for my childhood and on into early adulthood. I DO have quite a testimony of what has happened in my life. God has spared me death multiple times and I know it is so I can continue to reach out to others, offering love and hope and encouragement to those who struggle with some type of dysfunction or hurt, confusion, and lack of whatever it may be that a child needs as they grow into adulthood. I was given this blessing, as I myself looked for REAL LOVE since the day I can remember. Probably about 4 years old. I never, ever felt I was good enough just being Dawn. Dawn Schultz. And love, my friends- real love- is something they do not teach in school. I sought to find love everywhere I went. Even as a small child. Trying to prove I was “good enough” around any group of people, or any situation I found myself in. Alas, I always felt as if I missed the mark. I began to dislike that person looking back at me in the mirror. I began to believe the lie from the enemy that I didn’t measure up and I would never be successful or have a good life.
Back to the vision of this garden party to bring a few girls to the house I was renting, to make them feel great and try and provide them a prom dress with the cherry on top being hair and makeup… I used a social media platform- primarily Facebook- and found out there were exchanges in the areas surrounding me- that I could use to communicate with the local communities. I put the vision and my heart and soul out to the public. I needed a few nice prom dresses for a handful of girls who for one reason or another, we’re facing challenges and hardship.
Not long after I ran into an amazing lady named Linda Harris. She had also just moved into the community from Northern California. Her and the hubby were recent retirees from ATT and her husband was a veteran. I am crazy about the USA and our military, by the way. She observed what I was trying to do and knew I relied on God, and soon we began talking. Linda Harris is now the Director of Operations for Operation Prom Girl, while I am a bit aloof, and more of a visionary, she is the “spreadsheet, organize, dot our i’s and cross our t’s gal. We are an absolutely perfect balance. What does her husband, Bruce do? All of the hustling. Getting good deals on heavy duty clothing racks, transporting things for us, hiring a taco lady to feed the multitudes whole money is scarce on my end, and talking to the VFW, Post 1508, who has supported our vision from the day we only had 20 girls show up for a quickly thrown- together shindig, that very first year.
I had only lived here for a month and dresses started filling up the little broken rack I kept at my doorstep. The community was obviously ON FIRE for this vision that started as a pay it forward, let’s have a garden party at my house to “oops we’ve outgrown my house. Cancel that. There’s a need here coming through. SOS PLEASE send help . I’ve now got 200 dresses from strangers that donated for this.”Lolol. Let me tell you, every single day I came home, my eyes filled with tears at the wonders of God and this small town called Wildomar. Then, the dresses KEPT COMING. From all surrounding areas. Actually, no limits! Everybody wanted to help or jump on board or knew somebody who was in need.
Operation Prom Girl is a Community organization and is supported through volunteer and donations. We are also holding our first fundraiser on August 13th at the VFW in Wildomar. Please visit our FB page for the details.
If you have further questions about Operation Prom Girl, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. We also have a Facebook, Instagram, (and Twitter @opromgirl) that you can reach us and follow us at. Support this amazing outreach organization. We have a lot of surprises coming up and can’t possibly do it without your love and support! Xoxo
Founder and CEO~Operation Prom Girl SoCal