Two days before the Annual Boys and Girls Club father-daughter dance, underprivileged girls without anything to wear received new dresses for their big night from one charitable businessman.
Sam Sisahkti, a 34-year-old entrepreneur and founder of the Top 100 Internet retail site UsTrendy.com, visited the Richard England Clubhouse 14 in Northeast on Monday, Jan. 30, to hand-deliver dresses to dozens of young girls with a message of body positivity.
“I started my online retail company like 10 years ago and during the process I noticed a lot of body shaming,” Sisahkti said. “I get samples of clothing all the time and I wanted to donate to the girls here in the name of my new charity.”
His charity — The Believe In Yourself Project — focuses on providing new designer dresses to underprivileged girls to wear to their school dances. He knew that the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington would be the best place to start.
“I contacted several different Clubs because I knew that they had the reach and the capacity to get the dresses to the girls who needed it,” he said. “It’s all about providing some happiness, confidence and giving back to the community.”
Tiaret Payne, a sixth-grader and member of the Boys and Girls Club, said that Sisahkti’s donation made her feel good because, prior to his gift, she didn’t have a dress with just a few days before the dance.
“I’m really glad for the dress, and my mom doesn’t have to spend any money,” she said. “I want to tell [Sisahkti] ‘thank you,’ because now our parents don’t have to worry about it.”
Many of the other girls were also grateful for the lessening of the financial burden on their families.
“If he didn’t bring these dresses, I probably wouldn’t have had a dress by the time of the dance and I probably wouldn’t have gone,” said O’Mikhail Ferguson, 17. “I’m really grateful for the dress and the good thing is that I can wear it again anywhere.”