Donate prom dresses and accessories to help local girls in need

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By Kathryn Jacewicz, Staff writer

The blue one was special because it made me feel elegant.

The yellow one with rhinestones had a full skirt and made me feel like a princess.

I initially didn’t want to try on the pink one because it didn’t have enough sparkle, but once my mom convinced me to, I never wanted to take it off.

Even though I haven’t worn any of my prom or formal dresses for about a decade, I will never forget the feeling when I first put them on or how they looked in the pictures or the memories made while wearing them.

My family was fortunate enough to be able to outfit me with all the dresses I needed for proms, formals and other special occasions. The dresses even followed me from my childhood home in Indiana to my new home in Brunswick County. But as much as I still love those dresses, I gave them all away this week and know they will serve a much better purpose.

It’s the beginning of prom season here in Brunswick County, and the number of young girls in need of dresses continues to grow. If it weren’t for several community organizations collecting dresses, many girls would not be able to afford to go to their own proms and have their princess moments they will undoubtedly cherish the rest of their lives.

The Wings of Love Prom Closet is gearing up for its second dress drive after an overwhelming response to its kick-off event last year. A service project initiated by WHAM—We Have a Mission, the youth ministry at Dixon Chapel United Methodist Church—took off like wildfire throughout the community. More than 500 dresses were donated last year, and more than about 40 Brunswick County girls picked out their perfect prom dresses.

This year’s Wings of Love Prom Closet will be open to local girls on Saturday, March 19, in the Virginia Williamson Event Center at Brunswick Community College’s Odell Williamson Auditorium.

This is a free event open to Brunswick County high school juniors and seniors in need of prom attire. A school counselor or area minister must refer all students.

Dresses and other accessories are still being accepted. Items immediately needed are silver, gold and clear shoes in larger sizes. Gaye Fulford, the driving force behind the event, said glitzy jewelry is also in high demand.

“The girls really went for the rhinestone bling last year,” she said.

Other items in need are shawls, clutch bags and hair accessories.

Donations can be dropped off at any of the collection sites— Shallotte Cleaners, Southport Cleaners, The Brunswick Beacon, Carolinas Staffing in Calabash. Contact event organizers at wingsoflovecloset@yahoo.com to make other drop-off arrangements.

Don’t have any items to donate but still want to be involved? Donate your time. Volunteers are needed to help set up, serve refreshments, help girls shop the day of the event and to clean up.

If you know of someone in need of a dress this prom season, or if you are interested in being a part of this year’s event, call 620-7164, 619-5055 or 540-4657 and help turn dresses into dreams.