Last month, St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas, held its 13th annual “Prom Closet” event, where the church gave hundreds of dresses away for free to high school girls in need of a prom dress.
After being forced to cancel the event last year because of COVID-19, St. Andrew reopened its Prom Closet, serving more than 800 young ladies. The event was held on specific dates between February 15-26, and the high schoolers had more than 4,000 dresses to choose from. The students can also select jewelry pieces and shoes.
Devra Helffrich, a member of the women’s group that organizes the event, told The Christian Post that “All items are donated by community and church members, businesses, organizations and local groups.” She added, “Some of the dresses have never been worn.”
While the girls who participate in the event can keep the items they get at the Prom Closet, Helffrich noted that many return their dresses so someone else can use them the following year.
According to a press release from St. Andrew, “The Prom Closet was created to provide a unique shopping experience for young ladies who, because of finances, would be unable to attend prom. Prom Closet organizers and volunteers confirm that not only is the need great, but the impact the dress makes on the girl and her family is immeasurable.”
The Christian Post reports that the Prom Closet was started in 2009 when the St. Andrew Women’s group was brainstorming an annual mission idea. At the time, one of the group member’s daughters worked for a local school district where many girls did not have the financial means to buy a prom dress. With that in mind, the group decided to start the Prom Closet.
In the initiative’s first year, the group collected 300 prom dresses and served around 35 high school students. Since its first year, the initiative has grown substantially, with the group serving nearly 1,000 girls each year.
“I speak on behalf of all in the St. Andrew United Methodist Women group as well as our additional volunteers when I say that one of our favorite things is watching the girls react when those doors open to a room filled with a rainbow of colors of dresses in every size,” Helffrich said.
“It is pure joy. Additionally, to see their faces light up when they find that perfect dress is priceless,” she added.
“The Prom Closet has proven to be a wonderful outreach program for the church — an uplifting program that lets young women and their families know that they are cared for and loved. We can confirm that not only is the need great, but the impact the dress makes on the girl and her family is immeasurable,” Helffrich told The Christian Post.
“Prom is a special time of life. Girls are finishing high school and are becoming young ladies. Through Prom Closet, we give each girl a special Cinderella moment.”
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Kayla Koslosky has been the Editor of ChristianHeadlines.com since 2018. She has B.A. degrees in English and History and previously wrote for and was the managing editor of the Yellow Jacket newspaper. She has written on her blog since 2012 and has also contributed to IBelieve.com and Crosswalk.com.