Bright News

Bright Futures For Youth’s Nevada County Cinderella Project Moves. Grand Opening Saturday, Feb. 24, At Sammie’s Nifty Thrift Shop, Grass Valley

Larger space and more hours for the boutique offers free dresses and formal clothes to middle and high school students for special events

GRASS VALLEY, Calif. – Bright Futures for Youth’s Nevada County Cinderella Project – an organization that provides free dresses, tuxedos and other formal clothes for proms and special events to middle and high school students and younger college students – has moved to a space inside Sammie’s Nifty Thrift Shop at 535 E. Main St. in Grass Valley.

A grand opening is noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24. The celebration includes free food and refreshments. Those attending are encouraged to bring lightly-used formal clothes to donate to the Cinderella Project.

The relocation turns the open-on-occasion boutique into a seven-day retail operation inside one of the most popular thrift stores in Nevada County.

The Cinderella Project ensures cost is not an issue for junior high andhigh school students and younger college students to attend proms and other formal events. At least 100 students receive clothes from the Cinderella Project every year at no cost.

“The Cinderella Project fills a huge need in the community, giving teens an opportunity to enjoy and experience special events like a high school prom or a homecoming dance,” said Jennifer Singer, Executive Director of Bright Futures for Youth. The nonprofit took over the Cinderella Project in early 2022. “The Cinderella Project is so much more than a clothes boutique. We help young people dream and make a lifetime of memories.” 

The higher-profile location inside Sammie’s Nifty Thrift Shop allows the Cinderella Project to expand hours and provides more space – and will create synergy between the organizations. Sammie’s Nifty Thrift Shop features a range of donated items, from books and clothes to toys.

Sammie’s Nifty Thrifty is operated by Sammie’s Friends, a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that operates the Nevada County Animal Shelter.  Its mission includes providing medical care for the animals at the Nevada County Animal Shelter, making them adoptable and supporting other disadvantaged animals in Nevada County that without help would continue to suffer or would be euthanized.

“The Cinderella Project – Sammie’s Friends partnership will benefit both organizations, customers and the community,” said Fran Cole, Executive Director of Sammie’s Friends. “We will each bring new customers to our respective organizations, and benefit from new supporters.”

The Cinderella Project – has been open just a few days every month at its Nevada City space – will now be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday at Sammie’s Nifty Thrift Shop.

Community members can donate lightly used formal clothes, from dresses, suits and shoes to other accessories. Donation hours are 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday at the thrift shop.

Young people who find formal clothes at the Cinderella Project are encouraged to return them, if they are not likely to wear them in the future. The pay-it-forward practice will help ensure a good selection of clothes.

Individuals and small-business owners, including many retailers in the community, have donated thousands of clothes since the Cinderella Project started in 2010.

The Cinderella Project was established to help high school students and their families get free formal attire, which will still be available at no cost to middle and high school students and younger college students. Older customers can now buy clothes for a nominal price at the Cinderella Project.

“The Cinderella Project is such a forward-looking boutique, reusing clothes and helping students and their families save money,” said Nevada County Supervisor Lisa Swarthout and former owner of Mill Street Clothing Co., who is volunteering with the relocation and the opening of the Cinderella Project at Sammie’s Nifty Thrift Shop. “The partnership between the Cinderella Project and Sammie’s Friends is just the latest example of how nonprofits can work together to expand their reach, generate more money and provide more services.”