Storybook Endings

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For most teen girls, the opportunity to attend a prom is seen as a magical time when they have the opportunity to dress up, fix their hair, and be a princess for the night.  But what happens to the girls who can’t afford to purchase a nice dress and enjoy the magical evening?  One young lady asked this very question and decided to do something about it.  Rachel Smith, a senior at Canyon High, had been a part of service projects in the past and had always wanted to lead one herself, but had never had the opportunity until this past May.  That is when her parents attended an event hosted by Arrow Child and Family Ministries, and learned about the need for the Amarillo community to wrap their arms around young people in the foster care system.  Her parents came home that evening and shared everything they had learned with her.  She knew then she had to do something for these young people.

But what could she, a senior in high school, do to help these children?  That is when the idea of “Storybook Endings” came to her and she began to put in motion a plan to assist teen girls who found themselves in the foster care system during prom season.  As she began her senior year in high school, Rachel began organizing, publicizing, and advocating for other teenage girls to donate their old prom dresses so that girls in foster care would have an assortment of dresses to choose from for their prom in the spring of 2013. Rachel was blown away by the incredible responses by other girls and teachers in her school.  Over the span of a few months she was able to collect over 60 prom dresses and recently she delivered the dresses to Arrow Child and Family Ministries, a local non-profit organization that serves foster children in local foster homes, adoptive homes, and in an Emergency Children’s Shelter.

Wanting to change the world is not a new thing for Rachel, in fact, she hopes to major in Social Entrepreneurship in college and her ultimate goal is to use her skill-set and the skill-sets of those around her to better the world.  Organizing “Storybook Endings” would give her the opportunity to make an impact in the here-and-now, and serve teenagers in foster care, a group who are often forgotten by the rest of society.  Rachel stated that her idea for “Storybook Endings” came from the thought process that for every young girl, prom-time should be a time when they can wear a dress that will make them feel special.  In addition to gathering dresses, Rachel is working on collecting books for children and teenagers in foster care, creating for them a complete storybook ending.

Rachel Smith is proof that everyone can do something to serve others. Her story reminds us that we are never too young to begin changing the world around us, even if it begins with one dress or one book at a time. Everyone deserves a storybook ending, especially children who have already faced so many hardships in life.

To learn more about Arrow Child and Family Ministries and how you might be able to serve children in Foster Care, log on to Facebook at www.facebook.com/arrowamarillo or contact Keith Howard at 1-806-335-9138 or keith.howard@arrow.org

A World that Stopped Dreaming…

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you’ve imagined.”   – Henry David Thoreau
At some point the world tries to do it to all of us.  Maybe when we least expect it.  Or perhaps we are willing participants believing the whispers in our ear.  Most never escape the world’s clutch, but occasionally there are a few who rebel, break the trend and deviate from the intended path.  They are the one’s we applaud, admire, give affirmation too and even criticize, all the while believing we have missed our opportunity to join them.  And yet, we all started out the same.  A new life born full of dreams, hopes, and aspirations.  Though, somewhere along the line, we became civilized, convinced that our wildest dreams were never meant to be fulfilled.  So, instead we take on the status quo dream of America; settle down, live in the same community, have 2.5 kids, buy a house, buy a car, save for retirement, take an occasional vacation and fall in line with the rest of those whom also exchanged their dream for a much more safe and responsible one.  And still, as much as we long to silence our dreams and find contentment in the now, for most of us the dreams still fester deep within our soul…..maybe it is to open your own business, maybe it is to serve at an orphanage in a foreign country, maybe it is to take a year off work and travel the world, maybe it is to adopt a child, maybe it is to learn a new profession, maybe it is to start a new non-profit, maybe it is to write a book, maybe it is to spend more time with your kids, maybe it is to learn a new language, maybe it is to become a foster parent, or maybe it is to open a hot dog stand.  Regardless of the dream, most will admit it never goes away, we just do a good job of hiding it deep beneath our current life, believing it is but a dream, and yet we never stop applauding those who kept believing, kept dreaming and took the path less traveled into a place where their dreams wove into reality.
What is your dream?  Why not ‘live the life you’ve imagined’?