More than 1,000 high school girls get free dresses, accessories at St. Andrew Prom Closet

Making prom dreams come true

PLANO - Walking into a room of 3,000 prom dresses can be intimidating for many high school girls, but they had help Saturday finding the right one at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano.

Kylie Holcomb remained on a mission in the sea full of bright dresses.

"I'm looking for prom dresses and the perfect one, I'm hoping to find it," Holcomb said.

She felt the pressure of finding the right dress but didn't have to wait for long.

"It is crazy. It is chaos," Holcomb said. "It was surprisingly the first dress I put on, and it fit perfectly."

Finding the perfect dress isn't a small feat. Each girl gets her own personal shopper making sure she's perfectly put together.

"Miss Ann? Oh, she's so sweet. I love her," Holcomb said.

Volunteer Ann Bills helped Holcomb pick out accessories as well, but Bills said the most important part of her day is how she makes girls feel.

"This is a fantastic opportunity for us as a church organization to empower women and show them God's grace through a non-traditional fashion," Bills said.

Devra Helffrich said the annual event started in 2009 with just a few dozen high school girls.  

"About 15 years ago, we had a group of ladies that wanted to do a mission project, and the idea came up that we needed to help girls in our community acquire a dress so they could attend prom," Helffrich said.

Since then, the St. Andrew Prom Closet has helped 9,000 young women find a dress for prom free of charge.

"It really does mean a lot to me because there's some people that can't afford all that," Holcomb said. "The fact that these people are here willing to do it out of their own kindness in their heart, it makes me really happy."

More than 1,000 high school girls this year have the dresses, jewelry, shoes, and purses to make their prom memorable. They'll remember the kindness of strangers who made a difference in their lives.

Saturday is the last day of this year's Prom Closet, but St. Andrew United Methodist Church needs donations for the event year-round. They're looking for new or gently used accessories and dresses in sizes 0 through 36.

The Prom Closet has welcomed girls from Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma, as well as exchange students from Poland, Germany, Thailand, and Switzerland.

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