Shopping for good
Prom night is one of the most magical times for young ladies, but it can be very pricey. Church members crafted a plan to help area girls. With the goal of promoting confidence and self-esteem to high school girls and help them attend prom in style regardless of financial circumstance, volunteers came together to make it happen. A total of 97 gowns and formal dresses were gifted by generous local donors. Dresses were sold for just $10 each. Dressing rooms were available for shoppers to try on and model their selections. Shoes, handbags, and jewelry were also available for purchase.
The funds raised from this event went directly to the Methodist Mission Food Pantry to purchase food for those in need. Last year alone, the food pantry served 1,946 local households. Prom dress shopping was a win-win situation, as teens found beautiful dresses at a fraction of the cost and funds raised provided food for the food pantry.
Methodist Mission volunteer Roxy Moore prepared and served refreshments to eager shoppers. A new local tanning salon, Turquoise and Tan, generously donated to the purchase of 5 dresses for those in need. Other volunteers manned the fitting rooms. One shopper exclaimed, “It is so unique! There are no high pressure sales. I feel so loved!”
An invitation was extended to local high school students to shop the pop-up prom boutique. Students from Checotah, Eufaula, Warner, Webbers Falls, and surrounding areas came to the event. While the girls may focus on the dress, the church was focused on empowering them by showing grace and love. Church secretary and volunteer Ginger Coleman agreed stating, “Our purpose is an experience for the heart, and today the girls walked away with more than a dress! Our prom boutique was a success.”
The community is encouraged to donate gently used or new formal dresses -- prom, bridesmaid, or pageant dresses -- to be used in this ministry. Donations can be made anytime throughout the year. Dresses, shoes, and accessories can be dropped off at the Checotah First United Methodist Church at 419 West Gentry Avenue, Checotah.
Anyone still in need of a dress for this year’s prom can contact the church office at 918-473-5714. Mission volunteer and prom boutique coordinator Joan Sharp stated “This ministry has blessed us all. The Checotah First United Methodist Church wanted to fill a need in the community; we did that and it filled our hearts. We will host this event for years to come!”
A junior prom boutique will be held on Saturday, April 22. This sale is geared toward those young ladies who will be attending their eighth grade formal dance.
Lots of beautiful and delicious snacks made Checotah FUMC’s prom boutique a special occasion. Young volunteers checked out dresses for sale at Checotah FUMC’s prom boutique. Photos by Ginger Coleman.