"Every year I choose a charity that might benefit from my particular skills and talents. Last year I saw a touching story on our local news, and I knew immediately that my pay it forward charity of choice for 2015 would be a wonderful program called the Prom Closet".Lynn's goal in life, apart from growing her jewelry business, is to make a difference every day. She knows that it's impossible to solve all the world's crises and problems. But she also knows that if we each do something, no matter how small, we can truly make a difference. Lynn believes that by reaching out to at least one person every day, we can change lives forever. She calls this pay it forward.
"The Prom Closet helps girls who wouldn't normally be able to afford to attend a prom to do so. The charity provides the girls with free prom dresses and all their associated accessories, including jewelry, handbags, wraps and shoes. Best of all, the service is completely free to all girls, no matter where they live.
The only requirement is that the girls must choose their dress and accessories in person. The dresses and accessories are donated by community members, local groups, corporations, and businesses, and many of the dresses have never been worn. Because of my years of experience in the wedding jewelry business, I decided that making prom jewelry was the best way I could help The Prom Closet. Over the course of 5 years, I have collected bins full of wonderful pearls and beads that are either no longer for sale, or are oddments leftover from previous projects."
So far, Lynn has used her surplus components to make and donate around 200 pieces of jewelry.
"I'm pretty sure that will make a difference", she tells us. We're sure it will too, Lynn!
"One family told the organizers that they had been fretting over how they were going to afford to buy everything for their daughter to attend her prom. They learned about the Prom Closet while watching the news on TV and, as soon as they saw the story, mother and daughter jumped in the car while father called to give them directions ! Fortunately they made it in time, and the daughter was able to choose a dress and accessories. Naturally, the family were very appreciative.
Another young woman the charity helped had been nominated for prom queen, but would have been unable to attend because she could not afford to buy a dress. That girl was lucky enough to find her perfect dress at the Prom Closet, and her wish to enjoy a memorable evening to treasure was granted."
Since it's first year of operation, when the Prom Closet provided 35 dresses to local high school girls, the charity has become so successful that last year 678 girls were able to attend a prom! This year over 800 girls are expected to benefit by receiving dresses and accessories at Prom Closet 2015, its 7th annual shopping spree. The organizers say that enough dresses have now been donated to cope with anticipated demand, but they are still looking for donations of shoes, jewelry, handbags and other accessories. Perhaps you can help?
Prom Closet 2015 is hosted at St Andrew United Methodist Church, 5801 W. Plano Parkway, Plano, TX 75093. The shop will be open from Tuesday March 24 to Thursday March 26, between 4pm and 8pm, and also on Saturday March 28 from 9am until noon. If you'd like more information, please visit www.standrewumc.org, call the church office at 972-380-8001, or email email@example.com.
"I'm so excited that I will also be a volunteer this year, and be able to personally help accessorize the girls with the jewelry that has been handcrafted with love." says Lynn. What a wonderful way Lynn has chosen to pay it forward. We hope you enjoy your time as a volunteer, Lynn, and we're sure all the lucky recipients will simply love your beautiful handmade prom jewelry!