By Carrie Dillard
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
When you add it all up — the dress, the shoes, the jewelry, the hair, not to mention the cost of a ticket — Prom can be very expensive for the families of young girls. It’s why the missions team at First Presbyterian Church started the Prom Dress Project five years ago in the hopes of providing prom attire for any Laurel County girl who needed it, at no cost to them or their families.
Last year — for the first time — the church opened their doors to students from Jackson, Whitley, Clay and Knox counties, too. In total, they gave away more than 200 dresses in 2012.
Students are allowed to visit the church on giveaway days and choose a dress, shoes, jewelry and a purse, regardless of household income. There are no restrictions, no income guidelines and complete anonymity. The student will only have to identity her county of residence.
Most dresses, shoes and accessories are gently used, however some are new.
“We have some really gorgeous dresses in sizes 0 to 20,” said Kay McCracken, missions member. “Last year’s giveaway went really well. We’re happy that we could up it to surrounding counties. There’s need there and here.”
The church is now seeking donations of gently used prom dresses (preferably cleaned), shoes, and accessories.
There is a big need for plus size dresses, 14 and up.
Donations are tax deductible and can be dropped off at the church, located on Ky. 363 across from Lowe’s Home Improvement, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Missions members will pick up any donations upon request by calling the church office at 864-6789.
“The community continues to be supportive,” said Barbara Gray, another missions member. “People seem to want any special recognition — simply wanted to help with this mission. God continues to bless us in so many ways.”
Giveaway dates are set for April 6 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.; April 12 from 3-7 p.m.; and April 26 from 3-7 p.m.