Miss Bulgaria, Violina Ancheva, may not have won the recent Miss Universe pageant, but she won plenty of fans over when she decided to donate her pageant gown to the teenage daughter of a single mom.
Before leaving the Philippines, where the pageant was held, Ancheva announced on Facebook that she wanted to donate her dress, technically a two-piece consisting of a stunning blue skirt and sparkly, short-sleeved top.
“I want to give the dress to a girl in need that can’t buy a dress for her prom the next month,” Ancheva wrote.
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Responses quickly poured in — nearly 14,000 people have commented on Ancheva’s original post. Many shared stories of tight budgets and hoped the dress would go to their daughters, sisters or nieces, for proms or other special occasions. But in the end, Ancheva decided the dress should go to Issay Gallano, a single mom in the Philippines, for her 15-year-old daughter, Zyra.
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Gallano, of Pasay, told TODAY Style that Zyra will wear the gown to her prom on February 18.
“My daughter is so happy, grateful and excited,” she said in a message, adding that she “still can’t believe” they were the lucky ones to get the dress.
“We feel so blessed and thankful to Ms. Violina because she chose us,” she said.
Gallano shared photos of her daughter wearing the Sherri Hill gown on social media.
She also posted a selfie with Ancheva.
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“The most touching moment,” Ancheva wrote on Facebook of the exchange. “We have to help each other, because everyone can be in need one day!”
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