For the past four years, God’s Hands at Work has been collecting gently used prom dresses and distributing them to area girls free of charge. This year, the organization has teamed up with Pure International Pageants for its first Prom Fashion Show & Dress Give-Away event.
“It’s going to be really great,” said GHAW Executive Director Lisa Carroll. “We’re literally rolling out the red carpet for them.”
The event, which is open to girls from Gallia, Jackson, Meigs, Vinton and Mason County, W.Va. will feature queens from Pure International Pageants, who will model the formals donated to the center. In addition, there will be hair and makeup tutorials, manicures and refreshments. Those in attendance will then be able to try on and choose their gowns, which are free. They also have prom shoes available. According to Carroll, there is no income requirement. Other queens from area pageants have also been invited to participate.
This year, thanks to their partnership with Pure International Pageant, the center will also have brand-new gowns, as well as their donated gently used gowns, available. Indiana based boutique Paparazzi Glamour & Gowns donated 100 new gowns, as well as prom shoes, to the event.
“I know there are more important needs in the world to some people, but to a teenager, going to a prom is special and every girl deserves to have that memory of getting to go to her prom and feeling beautiful,” said Paparazzi Glamour & Gowns owner Kassy Lauer. “The Pure International Teen America, Ashley Clark, made the donations of the gowns and shoes possible. As an employee of Paparazzi, Glamour & Gowns in Evansville, Indiana, Ashley stepped up to the plate and made sure that these gowns would go to a good home by getting these gowns donated to God’s Hands At Work.”
As a fellow faith-based organization, Pure International Pageants Executive Director Pat Miller said joining with God’s Hands at Work for the event was something they felt they could do and aligned with their own mission.
Operating under the mottos, “Faith-Inspired”, “Community Service Driven” and “Family Focused”, Executive Director Pat Miller said Pure International Pageants focuses heavily on community service and looks “for girls who have a big heart and are wanting to use their crowns to change the world through volunteering.” Participation in the event is a way for their queens to give back to the community.
Carroll, who previously owned a consignment shop, said she consistently saw young girls and their families, who came to her shop in search of a dress, still struggle with the purchase even at reduced prices. It was that experience that drove Carroll to kickstart the program and she started asking for donations of gently-used gowns and shoes from the community.
“Of course, they stepped up like they always do and provided us with some beautiful gowns,” said Carroll.
In addition, businesses have joined in over the years, donating gift certificates for flowers, nail appointments, and hair appointments to be distributed to the girls.
“Every year that support grows from local businesses. We love that. We love the community getting behind this because while a dress isn’t a need like food boxes are a need, it is if you ask a senior in high school,” said Carroll. “It is to them. It’s very important to them.”
The Prom Fashion Show & Dress Give-Away is scheduled for Sunday, March 4, 2018, at 3 p.m. at the God’s Hands at Work service center, 68 Keystone Road, Vinton. Young girls in the service area are invited to attend and bring a guest. Due to space limitations, the event is limited to 50 girls and their guests, though Carroll said, if there is interest, they may hold a second event in the near future. In addition, they plan to go live on Facebook during the Fashion Show. For reservations and VIP seating call the GHAW service center at (740) 339-2176, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The center is also still accepting donations of gently-used or new dresses and shoes, as well as monetary and gift certificate donations for other services related to prom.