Dress­ing oth­ers for suc­cess

Project Rags to Riches founder has big dreams for op­er­a­tion

Go! & Express - - News - MADELEINE CHAPUT

IN THE busi­ness of help­ing peo­ple, project Rags to Riches is in the process of be­com­ing a reg­is­tered Non-Profit Or­gan­i­sa­tion and founder Cheryl Scheep­ers has big plans for the project.

“I like to help peo­ple and give what­ever I can. I wanted to start the project for years and I'd al­ways do­nate clothes and help peo­ple who were in need,” Scheep­ers said.

The project has been run­ning for two years and helps un­der­priv­i­leged young women find gar­ments for their ma­tric dances as well as wed­dings.

Scheep­ers is set on grow­ing the project and would like to start cater­ing for men as well. Her main fo­cus, how­ever, is to start giv­ing free sewing lessons to help un­der­priv­i­leged women make a liv­ing for them­selves.

“I want to em­power women and show them that they can do what­ever they set their minds to. Teach­ing them to sew may be a small thing, but they can learn to do al­ter­ations for peo­ple and make things to sell,” Scheep­ers said.

For now, the project en­sures a com­plete trans­for­ma­tion for un­der­priv­i­leged women. Through the project the women are dressed from head to toe.

“We give them a dress, bag, shoes, as well as a hairdo and makeup,” Scheep­ers said.

A pack of tis­sues, lip gloss and per­fume sam­ples from Per­fume Den are also in­cluded in their bags. Scheep­ers' daugh­ter, Ch­eryldene Scheep­ers, also as­sists with the project, con­tribut­ing the lip gloss and en­sur­ing the women feel like princesses for their spe­cial day.

Re­cently, Erica God­dard joined the group, of­fer­ing her pho­tog­ra­phy skills for all the women dressed by the project.

Hav­ing been dressed by the project for her wed­ding, An­gelique Abra­hams has also joined the group of women and runs the ad­min and ad­ver­tis­ing for the project.

“Sylvia Friend also does nails for us, but we're look­ing for more peo­ple to come on board and of­fer their skills to help young women in need,” Scheep­ers said.

All the women are ded­i­cated and very in­volved in the project, from col­lect­ing items and do­na­tions to per­form­ing mir­a­cles and en­sur­ing the women they dress look their best.

Abra­hams said: “Project Rags to Riches is re­ally close to my heart. Cheryl and her daugh­ter re­ally go out of their way to make it spe­cial and I don't know what I would have done without them on my wed­ding day.”

Scheep­ers said: “The best pay­ment is see­ing the trans­for­ma­tion, when the girls are all dressed up and just so happy. Many of them don't have much. Once a girl walked in and she didn’t even have a bra. I made sure she never has to go without one again.”

Re­ly­ing solely on do­na­tions, Project Rags to Riches is in des­per­ate need of dresses, shoes, bags as well as men's suits and shoes. The team is also will­ing to col­lect items from any­one who can spare a few.

If any­one is will­ing to do­nate and sup­port Rags to Riches please con­tact Scheep­ers on 084-840-2690 or visit the Project Rags to Riches Face­book group.

Pic­ture: MADELEINE CHAPUT.

FAIRY GODMOTHERS: Ch­eryldene Scheep­ers, left, Cheryl Scheep­ers, mid­dle, and Erica God­dard are three of the women be­hind Project Rags to Riches

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