Sammy Nickalls
June 19, 2015 9:35 am

When we think of prom season, we think of beautiful dresses, fancy tuxes, big-stretch limos, and promposals. But really, prom is a celebration of accomplishing major hurdles—be it in school, or in life. That’s why one Washington student had the brilliant idea to extend the prom celebration to a group of women who were truly deserving of such an honor.

On Saturday, Isaac Chan, an 18-year-old high school student, threw a prom for Hope Place, a women’s shelter in Seattle. “I thought it would be kind of fitting for the time, because that’s when a lot of high school proms are going on and a lot of money is being spent on ourselves and our dates,” Isaac told Bellevue Reporter. “I wanted to put together a special night for other people.” What a beautiful old soul.

Hope Place is run by the Union Gospel Mission, where Isaac has volunteered in the past. The shelter helps woman restore their lives who have been grappling with, and bravely overcoming issues like domestic violence, homelessness, or substance abuse.

“I just really wanted to restore some sense of dignity,” Isaac told Seattle Times. “To be able to come to this nice place, have someone ask you whether you want freshly cracked black pepper on a salad, maybe for the first time in several years — I think that’s just awesome.”

Isaac started to put this event together on his own, but tons of people pitched in thanks to his Indiegogo fundraising call-out, which raised over $2,000 for the event. His high school’s Key Club and Hunger Project Club created corsages. Culinary students catered and the school jazz band performed. Students donated over a hundred dresses.

Volunteers showed up to style hair, give make-overs, and provide manicures for the ladies—all at no cost. There was a three-course dinner, desserts, music, dancing, and even a photo booth. And the shelter’s cafeteria was transformed into a elegant space by a student decorating club.

The attention to detail and careful preparation totally impressed shelter staffers. “He didn’t just want to do something good,” Hope Place supervisor Christina Reid told Seattle Times. “He wanted to do it right.”

Thousands of dollars were also donated towards the event, both in cash and online. “A lot of the cash donations came in from friends of mine seeing me in the hall and saying ‘I don’t have much, but here’s ten dollars,'” Isaac told Bellevue Reporter.

In the end, the prom was thrown for 90 women and 50 children, and everyone had a total blast. There was even a daycare for the youngest children so new mothers at the shelter could enjoy the night, too.

“Everyone is having so much fun,” Seattle’s Union Gospel Mission posted on their Facebook page. “Newport High School student Isaac Chan rallied other NHS student groups to give women at our shelter a night they’ll never forget.”

On his own Facebook page, Isaac took some time to reflect on the night, calling it “the greatest thing that has ever happened to me.” He continued, “It has taught me more about myself, and the world more than anything else ever has.”

We’re a little misty-eyed right now. Thanks, Isaac, for providing such a wonderful night for women who truly need and deserve it. You are one awesome human.

Related stories:

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80 years of prom evolution in 2 minutes

(Images via Facebook, Indiegogo)

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