Celia Orand always loved dress shopping. As a matter of fact it’s something she still loves today and her passionate for it has prompted her to start collecting prom dresses for teens who can’t afford one. She’s calling her mission Starlight and has started a Facebook page to help get the work. She said she hasn’t given out any dresses yet, but she’s hoping when her collection gets big enough, she’ll never have to turn anyone away.
Tell us a little bit about your family.
I'm married with three children, one grandson and a grand baby on the way. My husband and I love being grandparents — it's the best job in the world!
What inspired you to collect prom dresses?
I've always loved prom dress shopping. Our children were homeschooled and they were able to go to the homeschool prom for tenth, 11th and 12th grades. I loved prom dress shopping with my girls! There's just something so wonderfully girly about dress shopping, and I love it when they put on a dress and feel beautiful. My youngest daughter saw a video of a woman whose daughter died and she started a free prom dress shop in her name. She sent it to me and said, Mom, this is you. And it is. There are many young women out there who cannot afford to buy a prom dress – they can be very expensive— so why not let them have a chance to feel beautiful!
What’s the story behind the name Starlight?
I'd been praying about the name and one scripture I've always loved is Psalm 147:4. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. I love the fact that not only does God know each star, but He knows each one of us and loves us so. I knew I wanted 'star' in the name and actually saw a business on Frankford and Josey called Moonlight Printing. I thought, why not Star-light! And so, Starlight was born!
How many dresses have you given out so far?
Right now I'm just collecting dresses. I'm doing my best to get the word out, and I think that's my goal for this year. I feel like I need a pretty good inventory so when girls come in, they can actually find a dress they like in their size. I would absolutely hate to turn someone away because I didn't have a size they needed.
What’s the process like to collect the dresses?
I actually thought the collection would be a little easier than it is, but I think the way to go is to continue to keep this in front of people through word of mouth. I've got about 15 dresses and a few on the way. I've contacted my hometown and had have a few mailed to me! The word is getting out there as people ask what I'm doing and how I'm doing it so that's exciting!
What does giving back mean to you?
Giving back is serving others. I guess I don't necessarily think of it as “giving back,” but I do try to live a life of serving. If I don't serve or give back to others, then life really doesn't have purpose or meaning. I really want to make a difference and I'd rather it be that they 'forget' who served or loved them, but they remember the act of service or love. I don't want to find accolades this side of heaven if I can help it.
Who inspired you growing up?
My grandma. I always wanted to be like her – she loved us well and really liked us! She was so compassionate and always gave. She couldn't stand it when we had the flu or a cold. It was so funny!
What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time I enjoy photography and actually just sitting down and being quiet. I don't get that much between job, grand baby, kids, but my favorite hobby is photography.
What’s your favorite movie?
If you could travel the world, what would your first three destinations be?
New York, Alaska and Israel.