The 5Th Fairygodmother

“Hi my name is Fran” I’m not quite sure where Fran came from or how I even met her but I was so glad that I did. Before we moved into DIVA Donations our first location there was so much to do. There was a lot of cleaning lot of sweeping mopping and we needed a lot of painting done. DIVA just was not going to be what we wanted it to be. My office mate J had stated that she had taken care of some of the cleaning and I needed to take care of the other things. Painting the waiting room was one of those things. I had started a small group on Facebook. It was very very small and I had asked if anybody new how to paint because it was not a skill I was proficient at. Fran messaged me and said I can help you you get it painted. So I gathered the supplies and I met Fran out at the closet and she got to work. In less than a few hours our new waiting room was ready. I couldn’t believe it was already done. I was so grateful. Fran didnt stay in DIVAs life very long. She had had a few things happen in her world and she was moving on to better place’s. But sometimes I believe that God just puts people in our lives for season’s at times. He introduces us to these angels on Earth and sometimes they don’t even know they are angels. And maybe painting might seem like a small thing, but when you don’t know how to do it and have no idea how to begin. It can become the biggest thing. Thank you Fran for your gift of generous time. And caring enough to help .

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Waiting for a sign

Now I had been volunteering at an animal shelter for a few months. I had started talking to another volunteer we’ll call her J who was helping at the shelter as well. We were talking and she told me that she had an organization and that she was looking into a place out in North Lima. I was curious because I had 543 dresses hanging in my garage that needed at home and quickly. It was suggested that maybe we could share a space. I knew I couldn’t afford my own place but I could probably afford to share a space .I still didn’t have any racks but I knew if this is where I was supposed to go that God would provide where to get racks. So later on that week I drove out to the Old South Range High School. I couldn’t believe my luck here was a space where I would be able to fit all the dresses ,have a dressing room and still have a little area for an office in a waiting room. I would find out later on it was too good to be true but it worked temporarily for our home. I brought my team of helpers out to see the space and they couldn’t believe it either. We were all so excited we finally had found a home for the hundreds of dresses that were in my garage. I

So I had a space but I still had no racks and I was racking my brain on how I was going to hang all of these dresses without my extension ladders. Well I got an answer about halfway into the week.I got an email from a very sweet woman who had been trying to sell racks on Craigslist for 3 months and had not gotten any bites . Vanessa my 4th Fairy Godmother had wrote to me and I couldn’t believe what I read. Vanessa wrote” I believe you wrote me awhile back that you were trying to start a mission to help girls find formal wear to be able to go to dances . I had racks for sale at that time and I was trying to sell them but I haven’t had any luck you. You had offered me $125 would you still be able to pay that. I couldn’t believe my eyes if that wasn’t a sign I didn’t know what was I was so excited everything was seeming to fall into place and by the end of August beginning of September. I was able to move all the dresses into

our first DIVA Donations location.

Be careful what you pray for you just might get it (boom)

“I was wondering if you would consider taking $125 for the racks” Those were the words on a email I had just finished writting to someone who I had seen posting racks on Craigslist.

I refreshed my email there it was another email from a woman named Susan. Was I reading this right did this email say that she had 500 to 600 dresses for my mission? I couldn’t even fathom 500 to 600 dresses and on top of it I had no idea where I would put them this had to be a joke. But surprisingly it wasn’t. A woman had heard about my mission and she had a resale store that was doing quite well. She had extra merchandise that she didn’t exactly know what to do with and it appeared that we were the answer. My first thought was “I have no place to put these I can’t do it. My second thought was “how in the world was I going to transport these all I had was a crossover and young children and my half abled body”. The fact that I was thinking this way kind of gave a clue that I was actually considering this! So I made the brave approach to ask my husband if I could borrow his work van. I thought” if he says no then I am not supposed to have these and I won’t throw a fit I will just let it go”. Surprisingly he didn’t say no. Okay so I had a bigger vehicle besides my own. Now to find the able bodies that could help me move this massive blessing. So I asked my girls “do you want to help mommy do something? that was the question I asked the younger ones. And the older ones I just begged and pleaded for their help till they gave in. Even my son got into the act. So August 21st 2012 in the early morning hours I gathered my moving crew. My younger girls their friends in my vehicle and my son and my oldest daughter in my husband’s work van.

We made a long and unknown trip out to Lisbon Ohio to meet Susan at her property. I say unknown because I had no idea where I was going and I got horribly lost in probably the poorest of the area I was driving through. And saw the need for what I was doing in our community. I believe I was meant to take that confusing drive to help me understand why I was doing all this. Every one thinks inner city is where poverty is but poverty is everywhere. We rolled up to our 3rd Fairy Godmothers house around 11 after our misdirected trip and met Susan in the front yard. Susan had us follow her down to her barn and to where 2 Semi Trailers we’re sitting. I assumed we were going into the barn to get the dresses never in my wildest dreams did I think she would open the semi trailers and show me what she had in there. I think all of our Jaws hit the floor and we stood there I gasped but we had come there for a mission and now it was time to work. So my troop started to get busy moving hundreds and hundreds of dresses into our vehicles. I think the count was 543. I think my husband was in shock when I showed up because I didn’t have any racks I didn’t have time to gather them. And I really didn’t have the funds to purchase them. I didn’t have any place specific to put these dresses. I just knew I was supposed to get them. God blessed my husband’s heart with some ingenuity and begging. We figured out what to do with them for a while until we figured out where they were going to go next. My husband took long extension ladders and hung them from the rafters of our three car garage and we proceeded to hang the dresses on these rafters. I knew then that my husband had a case for the judge that I was crazy. But he was willing to support my craziness because he knew how much it meant to me and he saw what was happening to our mission.

Are you listening!!??

Come on God you want me to What?

“What am I doing? Why am I driving all the way out here”. This is stupid you need gas to get your kids to school and get to Melissa’s house what are you thinking?” These were all the words that were ringing through my head. “This is too far you need to turn around” I had been listening to this guiding voice but this was taking it too far. I had to be a parent the responsible one who made sure we made it through the week to be able to get back and forth to school,jobs and most important Melissas. I heard this argument with my inner voice over and over kicking myself in the butt for choosing to do this. As I pulled up to the house I made the phone call. “Im here”. The daintiest little women came out of the garage door with the biggest smile. I had driven all the way to Canfield. This sweet women went back into her home and came out with several dresses. She handed them over to me. Then she proceeded into the house again. This time she came out with an arm full of shoes handed them over and turned to go back in again this time she arrived with purses and again another trip she came out with beautiful jewelry. Now as I stood in the doorway of the garage. She turned to go back in but before she stepped away she told me “you stay right there” . I did what I was told but as stood there I was dumbfounded what else could she bring me? I was at a loss. Again this sweet woman approached me. She had a very serious tone this time. I started to get nervous not that I had anything to be nervous about but still. She told me “Hold out your hand. I did as I was told. She grasped my hand and placed a 20.00 dollar bill in my hand. As she was doing it she said these words. “This is for your gas tank nothing else not for a dress, not for jewelry for the for the girls ect.. for your gas tank”. I knew that moment I needed to have faith because despite my argument in my head with my higher power he was listening. I had just met my 2nd Fairy Godmother and she had a direct line to God. I drove home feeling more secure than I had felt in a long time doing this. The trials to this moment had been hard. I had lost my car due to a lemon car that a car company had refused to accept had a problem. I was taking care of my cousin who was dying of ALS and her newborn baby everyday her mother had just died. And I was dying of a broken heart every day. It had just seemed that God had just stopped listening. But in that moment in time I knew he had heard my worries. And I was grateful for his response and blessing and for not holding a grudge for my nonsense that afternoon.

This was not the plan

“This was not the plan mom. We were supposed to clean out my closet not fill up my closet and my apartment. I hope you have an idea”. These were the words that were coming out of my eldest daughter’s mouth. Staring and looking around after putting a post on Facebook “Prom is coming if anybody needs address let me know and if anybody has a dress let me know. And after receiving 200 dresses in 3 months .I knew I had to do something with it I just didn’t know what. The dresses hung out in her apartment for a little bit while we tried to figure out what we were going to do. At the same time I was going around to businesses asking them if they had any donations because you know I didn’t have already enough in my home. I came across a woman who had a resale store in Struthers called the Pretty and Plus Shop. I had just met my 1st Fairy Godmother. Teah was like somebody I had never met before. She was very very friendly and outgoing and sweet and loved what we were doing and offered us a spot to store our dresses. A balcony inside the store would serve as the first landing spot for our divine idea. She also offered to close her store on Sundays so that the girls could come and try dresses on. Such a wonderful offer. It allowed us to move the dresses out of our home and into a larger space. So we gathered everything up and me and my little helpers got to work. And DIVA Donations had a new home.

A divinely-inspired inspired idea

We all have those moments in our life those moments where we let the children that we have raised go out into the world and become adults. I was at that moment in my life my oldest daughter was getting ready to move out on her own and was cleaning out her closet. Over the years we had helped many of her girlfriends attend special dances and events. Amelia and I would spend the weekends shopping the thrift stores to pick up formal gowns for just that occasion. So when she stood there in the doorway of her closet and said “Mom what am I going to do with all these dresses I’ll never wear them again” an idea came to me. Yes we could have given them to any of the numerous organizations out there that collect clothing but I knew because I Thrift that’s the cost of those items were still quite a lot. An idea came to me that maybe Facebook could help me start a group where people could exchange dresses but what ended up happening was a little different. I put a post on Facebook that said “Prom is coming if anybody needs a dress let me know and if anybody has a dress let me know” Instead of emptying my daughter’s closet we ended up filling her closet and her small tiny apartment upstairs from our home. We ended up with two hundred dresses in 3 months and I knew that God wanted me to do something with this. So that prom season 2011 we opened our home up to seven unknown strangers to come and try on her dresses that she had in her closet and had them take them so that they could go to prom. Everyone left happy. Then that summer I decided that we needed to do something more so I went to the local thrift stores in the area and garage sales and I told them of my idea. I also told them about what I really wanted which was a closet where young women could come and get formal clothing and shoes and jewelry .And to help relieve that worry and financial stress and burden placed on their families. Surprisingly these stores and businesses said we think that’s a great idea what can we do to help. That was the beginning of DIVA Donations