Now collecting donations of dresses, jewelry, shoes, handbags, and wraps
St. Andrew Methodist Church announces its 15th Annual Prom Closet will be held Feb. 20 – 22, 24 and Feb. 26 – March 2, 2024, in Smith Worship Center, at St. Andrew Methodist Church in Plano, 1401 Mira Vista Blvd., Plano. High school girls from ANYWHERE in need of a prom dress are invited to come select a dress and accessories - all at no cost. Appointments are required to improve the overall shopping experience and minimize wait times for the shoppers. Online registration opens Jan. 22. Each shopper must be present to select her own dress and accessories and may have one guest, age 16 or older. A personal shopper volunteer assists each shopper throughout the process. There are 35 shopping slots per each 1.5-hour time frame.
Prom Closet, a service of the St. Andrew Methodist Women, provides prom attire to approximately 1,000 high school girls each year. When it first began in 2009, 35 girls from local high schools received dresses and accessories. In 2023, 1,060 girls received dresses and accessories. Over the years, Prom Closet has welcomed girls from across Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma as well as exchange students from Germany, Poland, Switzerland, and Thailand. Approximately 500 volunteers come together each year to help make prom dreams come true.
“This year Prom Closet will celebrate its 15th anniversary of making prom dreams come true,” said Devra Helffrich, a founder of the Prom Closet, which was created to provide a unique shopping experience for young ladies who because of finances would be unable to attend prom. “Not only is the need great, but the impact the dress makes on the girl and her family is immeasurable. Each volunteer strives to provide an uplifting experience for the young ladies letting them know they are loved, and they are beautiful. There are countless beautiful and emotional stories of girls and their families who have received prom dresses and accessories.”
The Prom Closet is accepting donations of dresses (sizes 0-30), jewelry, shoes, handbags, and wraps. All donations may be dropped off at St. Andrew, 1401 Mira Vista Blvd., just inside the church’s north entry doors on a designated dress rack, Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.- 8:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; and Sunday 9 a.m. - noon. For the north entrance, look for the covered walkway and sign on the building. A link on Amazon is available for anyone that would like to help by purchasing items, which will be shipped directly to the church. To review items available for purchase, go to this link: Prom Closet Wish List
“We are so grateful for the support and donations from the community as well as our wonderful volunteers – all of whom make Prom Closet possible,” added Helffrich. “We collect dresses, shoes, jewelry, wraps, handbags, and other accessories year ’round and encourage the community to bring in items to support this important effort.”
To register for a 1.5-hour time slot and to volunteer, visitstandrewmethodist.org/promcloset.
For questions and more information email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 469-385-1810 for more information.
“What I love most about St. Andrew’s annual Prom Closet is the absolute joy that it brings to the lives of so many,” said Rev. Arthur Jones, senior pastor, St. Andrew. “This program is about so much more than just providing dresses or accessories. For many, it’s about hope and discovering there are people who care. The St. Andrew Women work on this program year ’round because they know its impact. If you are looking for an incredible and uplifting volunteer experience, join us for our 15th anniversary year! Prom Closet has grown to be an extraordinary outreach to girls throughout the metroplex and beyond.”
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
What is it?
St. Andrew Prom Closet, run by the Women of St. Andrew, is celebrating its 15th year! Prom Closet provides donated dresses, sizes 0-30, as well as accessories such as jewelry, shoes, handbags, and wraps to high school girls for prom– all at NO COST. Organizers estimate more than 4,000 dresses will be available when Prom Closet opens Feb. 20.
Requirements for shoppers: each girl must sign up online for an appointment at www.standrewmethodist.org/promcloset (beginning Jan. 22); each girl must be present to shop for her own dress; and each girl is allowed to bring ONE guest, age 16 or older with them. A personal shopper volunteer assists each girl throughout the process, and there are 35 shopping slots per each 1.5-hour time frame.
When and where is it?
Feb. 20 – 22, 24 and Feb. 26 – March 2, 2024
Smith Worship Center, St. Andrew Methodist Church, 1401 Mira Vista Blvd., Plano 75093
Who is this for?
This is open to any high school girl from ANYWHERE. If you live outside the Dallas-Fort Worth area, you can still come! Over the years, Prom Closet has welcomed girls from across Texas, Arkansas, and Oklahoma as well as exchange students from Germany, Poland, Switzerland, and Thailand. Girls must sign up for an appointment time online.
What is the history of Prom Closet? How did it begin?
Prom Closet first began in 2009 when the Women of St. Andrew in Plano were searching for an idea for their yearly mission project. The daughter of one of the group’s leaders worked for a local school district. She had noticed a huge need for girls to acquire prom attire so they could attend their senior proms. The idea of providing a unique shopping experience for young ladies who because of finances would be unable to attend prom was presented to the group, and all agreed to move forward with Prom Closet. The program, which remains a service of the Women of St. Andrew, also depends on many additional volunteers from the community. Each year, approximately 500 volunteers assist with Prom Closet serving in a variety of areas. 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.
How does it work?
The room is set up like a boutique. Each girl checks in for her appointment and is greeted by a personal shopper who helps her find dress racks with her size. Once she has selected her dress, she may try it on in one of 20 dressing rooms. Then she visits the boutique to look for jewelry, shoes, a handbag, and a wrap.
Where are the items from?
Community and church members, businesses, organizations, and local groups donate dresses, shoes, wraps, jewelry, handbags, and other accessories for this annual event. Some dresses have never been worn.
How many have you served?
The first year, Prom Closet provided 35 dresses to local high school girls. In 2023, 1,060 girls from 290 schools and 103 school districts received dresses and accessories, all donated by community members, local groups, corporations, and businesses.
Can people donate dresses and accessories?
Prom Closet is accepting donations of dresses (sizes 0-30), jewelry, shoes, handbags, and wraps. All donations may be dropped off at St. Andrew, 1401 Mira Vista Blvd., just inside the church’s north entry doors on a designated dress rack. Drop-off hours are Monday-Thursday 8:30 a.m.- 8:30 p.m.; Saturday 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; and Sunday 9 a.m. - noon. For the north entrance, park in the large north parking lot off Mira Vista and look for the covered walkway and sign on the building. A link on Amazon (www.standrewmethodist.org/promcloset) is available for anyone that would like to help by purchasing items, which are shipped directly to the church.
Are volunteers needed?
Yes. Prom Closet relies on volunteers for various roles of all levels of physical capability, including check-in desk and check-out desk, personal shoppers, dressing room assistants, and set-up and tear-down crew members. Volunteers for the shopping days must be adults. All adult volunteers must complete a background check. Sign up online to volunteer beginning Jan. 22. Upon registration you will receive an email within 24-48 hours asking you to complete the background check.
What if people have questions?
Call the Prom Closet informational hotline at 469-385-1810, or email email@example.com.
What are some stories of people you have helped?
- A Prom Closet recipient contacted St. Andrew because she wanted to donate her dresses back to the Prom Closet. Because of Prom Closet she was able to attend her Homeschool Prom twice during some of the family’s hardest financial and personal years. The family was struggling with money and the death of her father. “I didn’t want to go out shopping and see dresses I couldn’t afford, but when I came to Prom Closet, everyone was so welcoming and wanted me to be filled with joy. They provided everything I needed including shoes and jewelry. I learned that there are people out there who watch out for others facing difficult times. It’s important for us all to give back when we can do so.
- While volunteering as a personal shopper for the first time, Cid Smith quickly discovered that what mattered the most were the genuine compliments she provided when a young woman looked beautiful in a dress. “They would stand a little straighter and smile a little brighter.” She assisted exchange students from Germany and Poland. As she shared stories from her travels and volunteer work abroad, they found comfort in talking about their homes. Their smiles when they each found “the one” dress made her smile as well. As with many volunteer opportunities, she felt like she got even more out of the experience than the girls!
- The Waco Children’s Home made three separate trips to bring girls to the Prom Closet because the van could not hold everyone that wanted to come at one time. Every girl found a dress!
- Prom Closet has served: girls whose current residence was at the Samaritan Inn; a group of six foster teens brought in by a social worker; and three vans of Roosevelt High School girls, brought in by ROTC instructors, who needed gowns for the school’s Military Ball. The Prom Closet made a difference, lifting financial burdens, giving hope, and making dreams a reality.
- One year a young lady, who later attended University of Texas on scholarship, needed a dress for prom. A church member who was mentoring her told her about the Prom Closet. As it turned out, the young lady had been mentoring a special needs freshman boy at school and was able to take him to the prom since she found a dress.
- A family shared they had been fretting over how they were going to afford everything for their daughter to attend her prom. They were watching the news and learned about Prom Closet. The mother and daughter jumped in the car as soon as they saw the news story. The father called them and provided directions so they could make it in time. The daughter found a dress and accessories, and both mother and daughter were so appreciative and thankful.
- Another favorite story is about a young woman who had been nominated for prom queen but could not afford a dress to attend. She found the perfect dress at Prom Closet and had a night she will always treasure.
St. Andrew PROM CLOSET
Website and Registration: www.standrewmethodist.org/promcloset
Facebook: Prom Closet: St. Andrew
LinkedIn: Prom Closet: St. Andrew
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St. Andrew Methodist Church, founded in 1986, is located on 21.2 acres in Plano, Texas, and has more than 7,000 members. The church hosts over 2,000 people each weekend for worship services in both a traditional style with the classic pipe organ and a contemporary style with an LED center screen and lighting technology. St. Andrew extends an open invitation for all to be a part of a community ready to embrace faith in Christ that is real, practical, and life changing. Many opportunities are provided to gather on campus and serve locally, regionally, and globally. Through Invite Ministries, St. Andrew’s publishing house, and Beacon of Light, a mental health ministry, St. Andrew offers innovative ways to reach Christians within its congregation and out in the community. The new 300-seat Hasley Chapel provides worship and other gathering opportunities in a scenic and more intimate setting. In 2022 St. Andrew became an independent Methodist Church seeking to live more like Jesus every day and to learn in deeper ways what it means to follow His teachings, live in community, and serve the world. 5801 W. Plano Parkway, Plano, Texas 75093. Visit www.standrewmethodist.org; call (972)380-8001.