Samantha Pearlstein and Joey Fradkin (pictured left) are 13 years old and best friends who met in Kindergarten. Although Joey’s Bat Mitzvah took place in March 2012 and Samantha’s in June 2012, they decided to work on their Mitzvah Project together.
They created Dress It Up, a project devoted to helping middle school girls from diverse backgrounds have a fun night which includes dancing and dinner. In addition, they will learn about good nutrition and healthy choices. All of the girls will also receive a fancy hairdo and a new dress, which they can wear to the dance and then take home with them afterwards.
How did they come up with this idea? Says Samantha, “We get a new dress for every single Bar/Bat Mitzvah we go to- they’re really nice dresses that we grow out of after only wearing them a few times.”
Joey adds, “We had all this great stuff that our parents provide for us,” and they decided to do the same for other girls who weren’t as fortunate and could not afford a new dress.
The first Dress It Up party was held on May 11, 2012 at a middle school in San Francisco. Samantha and Joey worked with a few of the girls from the school in planning the Mardi Gras themed event for approximately 100 students (boys and girls).
Samantha and Joey were able to collect approximately 80 dresses for the 50 girls to choose from. Their Website has a list of drop-off locations.
The dresses, including two Vera Wang donated dresses were displayed out on a table and organized by size. After the girls made their selection, they had their hair done.
The event was a huge success and although this started as a Mitzvah Project, they plan to continue donating dresses to the George Mark Children’s House, a hospice for children in San Leandro, and throw additional events a few times a year.
To learn more, visit their Website.