The heartwarming reason why Miss Bulgaria donated her Miss Universe gown to a 15-year-old girl

Miss bulgaria donates prom dressAnthony Yu/Miss Universe; Twitter/CNN PhilippinesMiss Bulgaria, left, gave her dress to Zyra Nicole Cifra, right.

The INSIDER Summary:

• Miss Bulgaria competed in the Miss Universe pageant on Sunday night in Manila, Philippines.
• Before leaving the country, she donated one of her blue evening gowns to a local girl in need of a prom dress.
• Issay Gallano, a single mum, won the dress and gave it to her 15-year-old daughter as a surprise.

Miss Bulgaria didn’t end up with a crown after Sunday night’s Miss Universe contest. Instead, she’s making headlines for a heartwarming donation to a girl in need.  

Violina Ancheva, who won the title of Miss Bulgaria in 2016, decided to donate her blue evening gown to a local teenager in the Philippines, where the pageant was held, CNN Philippines reported

“Dear friends, I would like to give as a present my Miss Universe Gown […] to one of you that really want it and need it,” Ancheva wrote in a post on her official Facebook page. “I want to give the dress to a girl in need that can’t buy a dress for her prom the next month. Please write to me a personal message for details.”

Thousands of hopefuls responded to the message, but Ancheva finally picked one: A note from Issay Gallano, a single mother of a 15-year-old daughter named Zyra Nicole Cifra. Gallano, as the sole breadwinner for the family, could not afford a dress for Cifra, whose prom is just weeks away. 

So Ancheva arranged a meeting to hand off the dress, from American designer Sherri Hill, to Gallano. News photographers were there to capture the emotional encounter.

“I know how she feels and I’m happy I gave it to you, and your daughter will have the best dress of the evening,” Ancheva told Gallano. 

15-year-old Cifra wasn’t able to attend the meeting because she was in school — but her mother filmed her reaction when she was presented with the dress later as a surprise. This video shows the moment Cifra saw the dress:

Finally, she got to try it on: 

The gesture won the hearts of many Miss Universe fans who flocked to Ancheva’s Facebook page and left supportive comments.

“The essence of being a Miss Universe,” one commenter wrote. “Even though you didn’t [win] the pageant […] you won the hearts of many Filipinos.”

PostbyViolina Ancheva.

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