Credit-card processing company MerchantPro Express is proud to get involved with the Boston-based nonprofit Giving the Glam, which offers financially disadvantaged teens the chance to enjoy their prom, making it an extraordinary evening and an unforgettable experience.
Giving Back with Glam
Before founding Giving the Glam in 2014, Maristela Rapo owned and operated two high-end boutiques. She became involved with the Metropolitan Council for Educational Opportunity, also known as METCO, a community program in Massachusetts that works to “provide a strong academic foundation, as well as an environment rich in cultural, educational, ethnic and racial diversity.” Through her work, Rapo got to see firsthand just how much prom means to high school students.
“I never realized how big prom is in the U.S.,” says Rapo, who is originally from Brazil.
She was inspired to help those teens who couldn’t afford to buy a designer gown or rent a tuxedo or even get their hair and make-up done for the big night. And so, with help from METCO, she decided to launch Giving the Glam.
Thanks to this effort, young men and women get to make their proms a night to remember. They go shopping with Rapo to find the perfect gown or the right tuxedo. They get their hair and make-up done professionally, and they're provided with quality videography and photography services. Rapo even goes for accessories to complete their ensembles. Rapo spends about two hours shopping with each young man to help pick out their tuxes and about four hours with each young woman to decide on their evening gowns. Rapo believes it's time well spent.
"I can't imagine myself doing anything else," she says.
Giving the Glam started out small, with just one participant in 2014, but it's been expanding ever since. Rapo reached 20 teens in 2015 and 53 in 2016. She hopes to help 83 young people this year.
The best part for Rapo is seeing the teens gain confidence in themselves. Not only do they look incredible, they feel great too. They also get to arrive in style, as Giving the Glam provides transportation too.
And once prom has come and gone, Rapo immediately begins approaching schools so her organization can start helping more teens' dreams come true.
Support from a Friend
One person who is extremely impressed with all that Giving the Glam has done for teens is MPX president and CEO Chris Briller, who just happens to be Rapo’s neighbor and friend.
“I think she’s doing a great thing helping these kids out,” says Briller enthusiastically.
He knows how much Giving the Glam benefits teens and how important contributions are to Rapo so she can do more to help them. That's why MPX has decided to donate to Giving the Glam and form a professional relationship with this nonprofit group. They couldn’t be more inspired by the generosity of Rapo and her team. MPX is excited to see what the future holds for them.
To learn more about Giving the Glam and how you can donate, click here.