When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality. Romans 12:13
The past week has virtually been a whirlwind of activity. After reading an article, I began to think about all the cost involved in attending prom. With gas prices soaring and the location of our town requiring at least a 30-45 minute drive to find a store that sells prom dresses, just filling the car with gas has become difficult for some. Grocery prices are on the rise, unemployment is on the rise, and many families are left struggling with day to day expenses.
I went to both my Junior and Senior proms. My parents didn’t go buy the most elaborate or expensive dress on the rack, but they made sure that I got to experience the excitement of shopping for a dress, getting my hair styled, and attending one of the most memorable events of high school. I was blessed by taking our son to choose a tux for his proms. This year is our daughter’s first prom, and it has been so exciting shopping for the perfect dress and making plans. However, I know people who didn’t attend prom because they had to work in order to pay for their class rings, graduation announcements, or senior pictures. Some worked to help their family financially. Others parents’ simply didn’t acknowledge prom as the exciting milestone that it is for teens.
Today, the same problems exist. There are teens whose parents just can’t afford to buy a dress or rent a tux or pay for updos, mani-pedis, and spray tans. There are teens whose parents simply aren’t involved for a variety of reasons.
God gave me a vision of starting a ministry called Prom Dreams which would make prom a reality for teens who are unable to afford the expenses related to prom. My goal was to provide clothing to both girls and boys and get volunteers to do hair, makeup, and pictures while sharing God’s love. After some quick notes and thoughtful planning, I mentioned it to a few friends who quickly jumped on board. While sharing the project with my Sunday School class, a few more joined the ministry team. We immediately began spreading the word through Facebook, email, and word of mouth that we needed gently used items to make prom possible for all teens in our area.
We have received a great response and driven all over the county gathering up donations. In only one week, we have collected approximately 80 dresses, a dozen suits, jewelry, shoes, gift certificates, and many cash donations. Salons have offered their services. Teens and adults have volunteered to do makeup and nails. Team members have offered to take pictures and make photo packages. The list just goes on and on!
During a ministry meeting of planning and decorating a Sunday School classroom to give the feel of a boutique instead of a yard sale, our first teen arrived after hearing of our ministry. She found a dress and modeled for all of us. What a blessing to see the joy in her eyes! She went home and called a friend who also came that same evening to choose a dress.
We now have a list of students who have called from three of four area high schools. Prom begins this weekend and continues through the month of April. We have filled all of our clothes racks, and donations are still coming in. People have been really excited about doing something to help these teens make amazing high school memories, and I am simply amazed at how God has worked!
And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. To our God and Father be glory for ever and ever. Philippians 4:19-20