School ball season is in full swing and a modern-day Cinderella story is unfolding in south Auckland.
Fairy godmother Yvonne Taufa Falealili is doing her best to make sure no one misses their ball because they can't afford it.
Many girls call it an experience of a lifetime, but the school ball season leaves others stressed and upset.
"Especially now with Facebook and them seeing different friends going to the ball, they don't want to feel like they've missed out," says Ms Taufa Falealili.
The former Miss Tonga New Zealand set up the Cinderellas Project to lend dresses to girls who can't afford their own.
The dresses, sent in by friends and strangers, all come with notes saying where they've been worn - most have only been worn once.
"We are able to give them out to our south Auckland Cinderellas and they are able to come up with their own stories and memories as well which is awesome," says Ms Taufa Falealili.
"It's good for the community because heaps of the girls in south Auckland don't really have money to afford to buy dresses like this," says Cinderella Tuscani Glassie.
The girls get their hair and make-up done too.
"A lot of times they are real speechless. The just look around, no words can describe the way they are feeling," says Ms Taufa Falealili.
The Cinderellas Project needs more shoes and dresses - any sizes are welcome, as long as they are fit for a princess.
Ms Taufa Falealili hopes others will copy her idea when she presents it at the Festival for the Future next month.
For more information or to donate a dress visit the Cinderellas Project Facebook page.
source: newshub archive