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Red Oak UMC holds Prom Dress Swap

Red Oak United Methodist Church member Robin Aiken displays a gown that will be available at the Prom Dress Swap on March 10

Red Oak United Methodist Church member Robin Aiken displays a gown that will be available at the Prom Dress Swap on March 10

Spring cleaning can do more than just straighten the house this season. Those sorting through cluttered closets could uncover the perfect dress that will make the prom special forsome young woman in Newton or Rockdale counties.

Red Oak United Methodist Church will hold its first ever Prom Dress Swap on March 10 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Everyone in the community is invited to get involved in this unique mission project and dresses in all sizes are wanted for donation, according to Red Oak UMC's Missions Committee chairman Robin Aiken.

"I haven't been to a prom in 30 years," Aiken says with a laugh. "But it's fun getting all dolled up for the big night. This is something we wanted to do for the community."

Aiken said this is the first time her church has done something like this and she hopes it will be such a success that it will become an annual event.

"We just thought because of the economy and everybody is having a tough time, this would be a good way to help the parents save money," Aiken said.

"Everybody's got dresses from last year and the year before and we can recycle them. Communities all over the U.S. are doing this and they're successful with it."

Anyone who donates a dress will receive a voucher to get a dress. Donations are currently being accepted and all dresses must be in good condition, Aiken said, adding that gently used dresses will also be available for sale to those who don't donate. Individuals and businesses in the community are also encouraged to donate to the cause.

"It would be great if we get somebody who can donate us some dresses from somewhere, maybe a store or a company, but I don't know," Aiken said.

As Aiken and her committee searched for mission opportunities to serve the community, she said she had the idea to do the Prom Dress Swap because "the economy is down" and prom dresses are pricey.

"Prom dresses are very expensive at $300, $400 and $500, and you just wear it one time," Aiken said. "People think this is a wonderful idea and I've had a good response as far as comments."

What Aiken said she needs right now is more dresses.

"We need everybody to open their closets and donate their dresses," she said. "We know they're stuffed in their closets and they'll never wear them again."

Red Oak UMC is located at 15105 Highway 136 in Covington, and donations may be made at the church Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to noon, or by calling 770-787-0404. Those wishing to make a donation can also contact Aiken by e-mail at robindaiken@aol.com.

Beth Sexton is a freelance writer based in Snellville. If you have a story idea, email Karen Rohr, features editor, at karen.rohr@rockdalecitizen.com.