Today we would like to introduce you to Chicago resident Ashley Yong. A senior in high school, she recently had the opportunity to experience the one event most everyone her age anticipates: her senior prom.
In preparation for the festivities, Yong decided to do a little shopping. She started with a trip to Costco and Walmart .
Now given the fact that these two chains stores don’t usually fall into the same sentence as “designer dresses for senior prom”, you may question exactly what she was looking for.
Well it turns out Yong had a very different idea in mind than her classmates. She bought water, crackers, toothbrushes, shirts, and bandaids (amongst many other things), and sorted them out into 20 cardboard boxes.
Was she preparing for an after-prom party? Not even close. And that’s the best part.
The day after her prom, she spent the evening driving through the streets of Chicago and started donating these boxes of basic necessities to the homeless.
In an interview, Yong said the idea of helping the homeless started in December when she was thinking about her senior prom. With her parents unwilling to pay for the event, she scraped together enough to cover the essentials ($145 for the tickets plus a few hundred more for everything else) and started searching online for prom dress inspiration.
But according to Yong, the endeavor instantly started to feel pretty vain.
Yong said: “even if prom is seen as the pinnacle of every girl’s high school experience, I thought it was all a bit silly. That’s when I set my plan to ditch prom and help the homeless into motion.”
The people she helped were incredibly kind and grateful. Some were shocked and others simply didn’t know how to thank her.
“I’m a high-schooler with no job, car or really anything I own to sustain myself. Giving isn’t hard and it most definitely is not impossible,” Yong said. “No night of dancing or glamour could ever compare to the experience I got distributing the boxes. I [do] not have a single shred of regret in me.”
If you would like to express thanks or help support Yong, she has started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for another help-the-homeless outing sometime this summer. We certainly wish her the best!