I Have Questions about Getting a Blessed Dress

[ Open All | Close All ]

HOW DO I QUALIFY FOR A FREE DRESS?
Any high school girl is welcome to come and shop for a free dress. There are no requirements, we do not ask any questions about your ability to pay, your gender identity, area you live, no questions . . . we’d like to know your name, the school you attend, and how you heard about us.

WHY DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT SCHOOL I ATTEND? WHAT IF I AM HOMESCHOOLING?
It is fun for us to know where girls come from, but it also helps us to assure we are serving the KCMO public high schools and other local high schools. Also, as we meet girls from various schools, we include your school in our mailing for the next year’s FREE Prom Boutique. We consider homeschooling to be school.

WHAT SIZES DO YOU HAVE?
We have sizes 0 through 26 and sometimes larger. As you know, size 00, 0 & 2 as well as sizes 16-18-20 and larger are hard to find and so we have limited selection. By limited we mean about 100-200 dresses in sizes 0 & 2, and sometimes 4s which have been altered to a smaller size; and about 200 dresses in size 16-26 and maybe larger.

DO YOU HAVE PRIVATE DRESSING ROOMS?
Yes, we have 12 dressing rooms which have curtains to provide privacy, as well as a community dressing room which is a private room, but several girls at a time are together trying on dresses.

MY SCHOOL IMPOSES A DRESS CODE. DO YOU HAVE DRESSES THAT ADHERE TO DRESS CODES?
A lot of prom styles are strapless, but we have dresses with more coverage which meet many school dress codes such as no exposed cleavage, midriffs, or backs, and nothing see-through. We also have a small selection of shawls, jackets, scarves and headdresses.

I'M A TRANSGENDER GIRL, CAN I SELECT A DRESS?
Yes, absolutely.

WHAT IF I AM IN A TRANSITIONAL LIVING PROGRAM, IN A SHELTER, WORKING ON MY GED, OR HOMELESS?
First of all, we are super proud of you for facing your current circumstances with courage . . . and you are welcome to come select a free dress.

WHAT IF I AM NOT ATTENDING PROM, BUT HAVE A BANQUET OR OTHER SPECIAL EVENT?
Any high school girl is welcome to come and select one free dress. We talk a lot about prom, but you are welcome to wear your dress anywhere you like.

I NEED A DRESS FOR A CHOIR CONCERT, BANQUET, QUINCEANERA, FATHER & DAUGHTER DANCE, IN ADDITION TO A PROM DRESS, MAY I SELECT TWO DRESSES?
Each girl is asked to select one dress so there are plenty of choices for other girls. Wear it twice, and really, no one will notice because you’ll look fabulous.

DO YOU PROVIDE DRESSES AT TIMES OTHER THAN YOUR FREE PROM BOUTIQUE?
We do not provide dresses for Homecoming or other school dances. We can make private appointments throughout the year by referral of school counselor or a social worker. The counselor or social worker needs to contact us on your behalf.

I AM GOING TO TWO PROMS, MAY I SELECT TWO DRESSES?
No. Each girl can select one dress, so there are plenty of choices for other girls. Pick a dress you love, feel beautiful in it, and wear it twice! Or, if you have already bought a dress and want to select one dress from Blessed Dress FREE Prom Boutique, you are welcome to come and get a dress from us.

CAN I PAY FOR THE DRESS?
We do not charge any girl for any dress. Several girls or parents choose to make donations, and any money we receive is spent on buying dresses, particularly in the smallest or largest sizes.

CAN I PAY FOR A 2nd DRESS?
No. Each girl may select just one dress.

CAN MY MOM, AUNT, GRANDMOTHER, FRIEND, DAD, STEP-DAD, BOYFRIEND, BABY COME WITH ME?
Yes. However, prom dresses and accessories are strictly for high school girls. Your female relatives/friends, such as mom, aunt, grandmother, teacher, friend, are welcome to help you shop—and if she'd like a dress, "Mature Styles" are separately available. We do not have any entertainment for children; if children are with you, please keep them nearby. We have an elevator that can accommodate strollers. Men and boys over the age of 4 are not allowed on the Boutique floor. We have snacks and video games for men and boys in an upstairs space.

MY DAUGHTER/NIECE/STUDENT/FRIEND IS WORKING/OUT OF TOWN/BUSY—CAN I SELECT A DRESS FOR HER?
No, we ask that dresses are selected by high school girls, and that each girl selects only one dress. We are available to make a private appointment after the FREE Prom Boutique for a girl who misses the event. Appointments can be made by calling the church 816-753-1844 or Scheduling a Private Appointment.

WHERE ARE YOU LOCATED?
Our FREE Prom Boutique is held annually at Central United Methodist Church (CUMC), 5144 Oak Street KCMO. There is plenty of parking and you’ll enter off Oak Street, on the east side of the church.

I DO NOT HAVE TRANSPORTATION. HOW CAN I GET TO THE FREE PROM BOUTIQUE?
We are located on two KCMO City Bus routes. Some girls talk to a teacher or their church to see if group transportation can be arranged. Alternatively, if you come with friends, perhaps one parent could drop you off and another parent pick you up.

I Have Questions about Donating a Dress or Other Items

[ Open All | Close All ]

WHAT ITEMS DO YOU ACCEPT?
Dresses – new or gently worn prom and bridesmaid dresses. Girls appreciate fancy dresses that are current trends, classic styles, long or short. It is not necessary that you wash or dry clean the dress, but if it is terribly stained, we will not be able to use it. If the zipper is broken, we will not be able to use it. If lace, buttons, snaps or hooks need minor repair, we have volunteers who can make those repairs.

Shoes – the higher the heel the better! Sparkly is good.

Purses – fancy purses, SMALL, as girls only carry their phone, some money and their ID. No shoulder bags or casual bags, we do not need them.

Jewelry – bling. Earrings, bracelets, and necklaces. Girls love costume sparkly jewelry, but will also select simple elegant pieces.

Strapless bras – they are expensive and often our girls cannot afford them but need one with their selected prom dress. Petticoats, body shapers, etc. – sure, we’ll take them.

WHEN DO YOU ACCEPT DONATIONS?
All year long, Monday-Friday between 9am-4pm.

WHERE DO YOU ACCEPT DONATIONS?
At Central United Methodist Church. The address is 5144 Oak Street, KCMO – please come around to the West Entrance off Brookside Blvd. There is easy access to a donation rack, as well as tax receipts. If you have more than 100 dresses, we can arrange a pick up.

IS MY DONATION TAX DEDUCTIBLE?
Most likely, but the IRS gets to decide. We can provide you with a tax receipt, however Blessed Dress KC does not establish a value for your donation; you can do that.

I AM INTERESTED IN DONATING MONEY – WHAT DO YOU DO WITH IT?
We will buy dresses, racks, mirrors, size tags, distilled water, and other needed items. 95%+ of our dresses, shoes, and jewelry are donated to us, and then we buy to fill gaps in sizes & styles.

I Have Questions in General about Blessed Dress KC
 

[ Open All | Close All ]

DO YOU HAVE PAID STAFF?
No, we have 100 volunteers. We do not have any paid staff for this Blessed Dress ministry.

HOW ARE YOU FUNDED?
We receive donations and as a ministry of CUMC, we were seeded with $1,100 in 2014 and are now self-sufficient. Our printing, mailing and other support continues to be provided by church staff & budget. 95%+ of our dresses, shoes and jewelry are donated to us. Many women, whether affiliated otherwise with CUMC or not, buy dresses, shoes and jewelry throughout the year and donate them to us at their own expense. Any dresses not used for the Annual FREE Prom Boutique and not given to partner organizations, we sell through an online store and proceeds are used to fund Blessed Dress.

WHO ARE YOUR VOLUNTEERS?
We have over 100 volunteers throughout the year to make Blessed Dress happen. About 30-40% of our volunteers are affiliated with CUMC. Others are community members who treasure this ministry and give their time and money to support it.

ARE THERE STRINGS ATTACHED TO GIRLS SELECTION DRESSES?
No. We welcome all girls and their family and friends to worship with us on Sundays at 8:30am and 10:50am, but it is not required. We are eager to share our personal spiritual journeys, but no girl is required to listen to such stories. We simply want to share love through blessed dresses. These dresses have been lovingly given, prayed over, and are offered to girls with no strings attached; this is how we understand Christ’s love. Blessed Dress is a sparkly ministry of CUMC and offered in this sacred space where everyone who enters is safe in God’s home where EVERYONE is welcomed, cherished and accepted.

I’D LIKE TO COLLECT DRESSES, JEWELRY, AND/OR SHOES FOR YOU, CAN YOU HELP ME DO THAT?
Yes, we have a small handbook to support individual dress drives. These have been done at schools, churches, business, salons, hospitals, clinics and home parties. We can provide a rack, banner, posters, tax receipts and a host to assist you.

WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE DRESSES NOT SELECTED AT YOUR FREE PROM BOUTIQUE?
Dresses we receive but cannot use for the Annual FREE Prom Boutique, or are not selected by girls after two years, are given to other Prom Closets, Prison Re-entry ministries, Women’s Employment Network, or Paseo Academy of Fine & Performing Arts. Paseo uses dresses for dance classes and theater costumes, as well as their sewing and construction courses.

I HAVE CONTACTS WITH A JEWELRY STORE, DRESS SHOP, OR SHOE STORE; WOULD YOU LIKE ME TO INTRODUCE YOU TO THEM?
Yes.

I AM A TEACHER AND NEED DRESSES FOR THE YOUNG WOMEN IN CHOIR, FASHION DESIGN, DANCE, ORCHESTRA; CAN I SELECT MANY DRESSES TO USE FOR THIS PURPOSE?
Contact us sometime between May through November and if we have dresses that meet your need, we are happy to give them to you.

DO YOU REALLY PRAY OVER EVERY DRESS?
Yes. Really. 2,500 dresses. "God, the girl who selects this dress is your cherished child, let her know her true beauty and keep her safe."