Jefferson County church offering free prom dresses and prayer

DANDRIDGE (WATE) – Members of a Jefferson County church are helping area high school girls ensure they have a dress to wear to the prom, despite their families’ financial situation.

Oakland United Methodist Church, 158 West Dumplin Valley Road, is hosting “Cinderella’s Closet” from March 18 to 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Church members say they have collected around 90 prom dresses, some still with tags, and they will pray with each girl who comes.

“What we do is give away prom dresses and accessories and shoes to young ladies that are wanting to go to the prom and for different reasons cannot afford to go or they can’t find a dress somewhere else,” said church member Janet Keller.

Each girl will also be registered for a gift card drawing and receive small gift bags filled with cosmetic samples and other small items.

Slideshow: ‘Cinderella’s Closet’

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“We hope that they leave from here they’re all ready for the ball. That’s why we call it Cinderella’s Closet,” she said.

They started it last year with a goal of getting the girls dressed up for prom, and it quickly became much more.

“They just need somebody to help them feel like they can bring themselves up from whatever the issue is and they just need someone to stand by them sometimes.”

R.J. Farley brought her daughter last year, and she decided right away she wanted to be a part of it.

“Forty-five minutes, jewelry in hand, dress out the door. She was crying in the car, and I was crying with joy. And I met these nice people and I just knew I had to become involved,” said Farley.

No one is expected to return the dresses after they’ve worn them, but church members say paying them forward to someone else who might need a dress would be a nice gesture.

You also don’t have to live in Jefferson County to take part.

Church officials said Friday they are in desperate need of more dress donations as they are quickly running out. Those interested in donating should contact the church.

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