Beading and sequins, pearl strands and gloves. Teens from Chatham and Orange counties arrive in clusters -- many by school bus -- to participate in Cinderella's Closet of Chatham County. The organization helps high school girls who might not be able to afford prom by outfitting them in ensembles certain to magnify memories. Volunteer "fairy godmothers" usher the students -- referred by community organizations and school staff -- as they till through racks of more than 600 dresses in a rainbow of colors, sizes and lengths. Seamstresses ensure a perfect fit. Scores of high heels, heaps of make-up, rows of clutches and cosmetic bags leave some speechless. The wide eyes and giggles among the girls are infectious. The the reactions, immeasurable:
"Now I can't wait for prom!"
"I wanted to go last year but I couldn't afford a dress. The one I had really liked, my friend bought. I wish I knew about this last year."
"I love it...I really, really love it."
"Wow, now I can brag I fit into a size 13."
"Did you get the purple one? That one was really pretty."
"Raise your hand if you like red?"
"My mom wanted me to text her pictures."
"I'm having so much fun!"
(photographs taken at Cinderella's Closet of Chatham County)