Belle of the Ball, charity that helps girls in need, burglarized

Now a recipient is paying it forward
Posted at 6:09 PM, Sep 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-27 18:09:52-04

Thousands of dresses fill a Clearwater store. Many of the dresses are brand new and still have the tags. But any one of them is free for a girl in need.

And it's not just the dresses. It's shoes and jewelry too.

But last week, a robber broke in thorough a window and stole hundreds in jewelry.

Charity workers started scrambling, hoping for donations for the busy homecoming season. And on Tuesday they received an unexpected gift.

Danica Smith met Action News at the store in Clearwater. She is the mother of the recipient of the first dress we gave to the charity after our Oscar dress campaign.

The Oscar dress campaign is where we ask viewers to vote for my dress to be worn at the biggest Oscar party at the Tampa Theatre and then it's donated to a girl in need.

Smith's Diynesha Block treasured the gown. But when we told her what happened,  she knew what she had to do. She’s now in college and couldn't meet us but sent her mother to deliver her dress.

"She has a huge caring heart and she wanted to give this back and she feels really good about it," said Smith. "She wants another girl to feel they way she did on prom. It was so special."

I talked to Block by phone. She told me she could not believe someone would take from a charity.

"That is just so heartless. It really makes me sad. I hope they do catch the person," said Block.

A crew came out to fix the window and charity organizers are confident the Bay area will come through.

Smith says she is  beyond proud her daughter is paying it forward.

She and those with the Belle of the Ball are hoping the thief is watching and maybe learns a lesson himself.

If you would like to help you can e-mail Belle of the Ball: