By Elizabeth Lenart
St. Andrew United Methodist Church is hosting the 10th Annual Prom Closet, Feb. 27, 28 and March 1 (Tues.-Thurs.) 4 – 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 3, 9 a.m. – noon, in the Smith Worship Center at St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 1401 Mira Vista Blvd. Girls from ANYWHERE in need of a prom dress are invited to come select a dress and accessories, all at no cost. Dresses sized 0 to 28 are available to choose from, many of which have never been worn. The only requirement is that girls must be present to select their dresses/accessories.
“As we reflect back over the last 10 years of Prom Closet, it’s amazing that we have grown from serving just 35 girls that first year to almost 1,000 last year,” Devra Helffrich, an original organizer of the prom closet, said. “The Prom Closet has proven to be a wonderful way to reach out and help the community.”
Community members, businesses, organizations and local groups donate dresses, shoes, wraps, jewelry, handbags and other accessories for this annual event, organized and operated by The St. Andrew United Methodist Women. 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. In addition to providing dresses to over 950 girls last year, 270 pairs of shoes and 1,700 pieces of jewelry were given to shoppers.
St. Andrew is accepting dresses and accessories such as jewelry, handbags, shoes and wraps. Organizers are asking the community to bring donations to St. Andrew UMC, Jan. 27 – Feb. 4, and drop them off in Room 133. A link on Amazon is available for anyone that would like to help by purchasing items. These items will be shipped directly to the church. To review items available for purchase, go to tinyurl.com/PromClosetWishlist.
“My students and I were so amazed when we arrived at The Prom Closet,” said Sylvia Cornelius, a teacher with Garland Can Academy who brought 12 students to shop in the Prom Closet in 2017. “To see so many beautiful gowns and have such sweet, spirited ladies working so hard to fulfill my students every desire was overwhelming. This program touches the lives of young women in such a magical way. One of my students came up to me and said, ‘Ms. Cornelius, I never thought I would be able to get a prom dress and go to the prom.’ Garland Can Academy is grateful for the acts of kindness shown to 12 of our young ladies. I used this experience to teach and minister to the girls about service and how it’s better to give than to receive. We were blessed, and I give all praise to God for all persons responsible for this Prom Closet.”