No Glass Slippers

It has been said it takes a village to raise a child, but could it also take a village to create a fairy godmother?

With prom season at hand, a group of women wondered what else could be done to help young women in need of a real-life magic wand to get ready for the ball.

One local group, the Cinderella Project of Baton Rouge, makes beautiful gowns available. Another provides the necessary foundations, Jess’ Bra Closet.

“What else would a girl need to go to the prom?” LeJeanne Folse Harris, a licensed practical nurse and mother of four said that she and others asked themselves.

The answer was shoes. Not glass slippers exactly, but the kind of dressy heels in satin or glitter that completes an outfit.

And, so, the “No Glass Slippers Prom Shoe and Prom Makeover Giveaway,” to be held Sunday in Baton Rouge, was born.

It will also be happening in New Orleans on April 7.

It’s hoped that the shoe giveaway will be successful and become an annual event, said Harris’ daughter Brittany Harris, an event organizer, and teacher and the girls’ track coach at Istrouma High School.

“Even though life may not be as perfect as in fairy tales, (people) can still have dreams and perfect proms can come true,” said Brittany Harris, who ran track for LSU from 2004 to 2007.

“We believe a prom is so much more than just a dance; it’s a celebration and ordering of steps into the future,” says the No Glass Slippers website, at http://www.NoGlassSlippers
la.blogspot.com

The third organizer of No Glass Slippers is Brittany’s good friend Sareda McPhee, a victim assistance coordinator for juveniles for the 19th Judicial District who also teaches a class in contemporary social problems at a community college in Lafayette.

The organization’s coordinator in New Orleans is Brittany Harris’ friend, Lesley-Anne Rey, the sales and marketing coordinator of the Louisiana Children’s Museum.

“We have been talking about children’s issues” and what could be done to help children and young people succeed in life, said Harris who works at Our Lady of the Lake Physician Group, where she is also a certified medical coder.

When the idea for a prom shoe giveaway was born, “I turned my back for five seconds and Brittany and Sareda had gotten it started,” she said.

In late February, the young women put the announcement of the shoe drive and giveaway on Instagram, the online photo-sharing service that can be shared to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. So far, they have received about 100 pairs of new or gently used heels in all sizes and hues from the Baton Rouge area and out of state. The shoe drive is also picking up steam in the New Orleans area, where it kicked off a little bit later based on the start of prom season there.

The organizers are hoping that more shoes will come in to fill up the drop-off bins at various locations in Baton Rouge, Hammond, Lutcher and New Orleans. Some employee and school groups have gotten involved as well.

McPhee, a native of Colorado, said that some of the girls she went to high school with in Denver have sent prom shoes. Harris said that a shoe designer from California has reached out and wants to be involved, possibly to make a “redo” of some of the shoes for fun. But all of the shoes to be given away are in beautiful condition.

In order to be a shoe recipient, girls must attend high school, have a current area high school I.D. and have plans to attend prom this spring.

At the giveaways, girls also will be able to register for the chance to win a prom makeover, which will include full makeup, hairstyling and manicure and pedicure.

Winning names will be announced at the two-hour giveaway events and winners must be present to win.

“Some of the (donated) shoes are brand new,” still in their plastic bags in the shoe boxes, Harris said.

“I’ve sent four children to prom now; I know how expensive it can be, especially for the single parent,” said Harris, whose three other children, Brianna, a student at Baton Rouge Community College, and twins Braxton and Bricelyn, seniors at McKinley High School, have helped out with the No Glass Slippers event, too.

To contact No Glass Slippers, email noglassslippers225@gmail.com or call Brittany Harris at (225) 806-4201.