This was the day when I realized that I finally made it to the moment that I’ve dreamt about since I was 16 years old!
After an epic donation drive in June, I got serious and reached out to every girl and mom I knew, inviting them all to the first every Smile On Me Day Party!
But first, I had to book a venue. The first place that came to mind, was, of course, The Wing! I love this space and I’m so glad I am a member there. I knew it would be the perfect place to invite girls to honor and celebrate them. Most of the girls I worked with in my previous jobs had never left their borough, and my first agenda was to not only find and reserve a perfect venue, but I wanted it to be somewhere they’ve never been to. Most of all, I wanted it to be beautiful and girl-friendly, where they could feel safe and free to talk about whatever they wanted.
Next, I knew I needed some type of gift to give to the girls and the moms, beside the bags filled with hygiene products. Luckily for me, my sister is an arts & crafts guru and offered her talents to create flower crowns for all the guests, and they turned out beautifully.
Lastly, I knew I needed food and snacks. Like me, I knew the girls would first ask for something to eat, which is indeed a valid question. I only go to parties or events if I know there’s going to be food. The Wing graciously provided snacks for the girls: yummy make it yourself parfaits. AND my favorite bakery very graciously donated a cake!
Not only did I want the girls to get their bags and talk to each other, but I also invited women who I knew had incredible stories to share to speak on a panel. I’m so proud of all these women and am grateful to have them feel comfortable to share their journeys from girlhood to womanhood with our girls.
Our photographer, Yaba, really captured the event in its entirety. I loved all the images she captured that day, and would encourage everyone to hire her in the future!
This event couldn’t be possible without every person who made a way to donate these products for these girls. They all left extremely grateful and happy that someone they didn’t even know decided to place value on their lives.
And last but not least… I have to thank a few more people:
Thank you to Danuvis, Tash, Karen, and Deva for instilling courage into the girls in the room. I appreciate you all boldly sharing your story and taking the time to do so. You all are incredible women and I'm grateful to call you my friends.
Thank you to our amazing girls Jackie, Taj, Kiara, Alexandra, and Sade for showing up and being open to this new experience.
Thank you to Butter & Scotch for donating this delicious birthday cake, we ate every bit of it.
Thank you to The Wing for allowing me to host this event in such a beautiful space.
AND thank you all those who gave, this event happened because of you and you should be proud.