I Am Already a Volunteer
If you have already signed up (via Signup Genius), then below is the information for you to get ready for Blessed Dress Annual FREE Prom Boutique. Please arrive 10 minutes before your shift.
Note: Wear blue jeans, comfy shoes & a white shirt; we'll give you a pink lei to wear so girls can easily identify you for assistance.
Check In - 2 volunteers/shift, Breezeway, bottom of red stairs
Thank you for serving at the Check-In. It is important that we greet each girl and collect basic information about who we are serving in this Blessed Dress Prom Boutique. You are also an important face and voice of welcome to assure that each girl feels good about coming.
Sign In - Ask girls to sign-in with their name, school, and how they heard about Blessed Dress KC. Ask them to write the full name of their school as we don’t always know what RP or BVS means. Please gather this information from each girl before she enters the Boutique to shop. This is the only requirement to enter. One name per line will make it easier to tally; feel free to have multiple sign-in sheets going at any time.
Even if there is a line of eager girls, that’s okay! Just calmly greet each girl and ask her to sign in. If there is a line, you are not only greeting girls, but also helping to send them to the Boutique in a slow flow so they can be received by the Shopping Helpers in good hospitality.
If we get backed up in the Dressing Rooms, Laura will come and briefly hold the line so that we let girls in a few at a time to assure a happy shopping experience for everyone. Once a girl has signed in, greet her by name, “Hi <name>, thanks for coming, have fun.” Then, send her toward Kenwood Hall.
Please . . . . . Dresses, jewelry, undergarments, shoes, purses, etc., are for prom-goers only. Invite any chaperons, mothers, grandmothers, & aunts to choose a dress from the "Mature Styles" located near the Check In tables. They are welcome and encouraged to take a dress from this rack (located just before the restroom as you enter the boutique floor). Thank them for understanding.
Restrooms - Let girls know restrooms are just past your table, including a baby changing station.
Checking in Volunteers - You will also be checking in volunteers. Contact Laura with any questions about volunteers.
- Have them check off their name on the Volunteer sheet.
- Have them make a nametag; first name only, written in big letters.
- Have them take a lei and wear it so Shoppers can easily identify volunteers there to assist them.
- The location of their Job is on the sign-in sheet.
Accepting Additional Donations - We anticipate that persons may bring additional donations during the 2-day event. We are happy to accept them:
- Accept the dresses (or whatever) and hang them on the rack just inside the Youth door.
- Offer the donor a tax receipt.
Tally Attendance – Keep a running tally of the number of girls who Check-In and write it at the top of each sheet; this way we can periodically tally how many girls have attended.
Shopping Helper - 6-8 volunteers/shift in Kenwood Hall, among the dresses
Thank you for serving as a Personal Shopping Assistant as girls chose their Prom Dress. Your contact with the girls one-on-one is an important aspect of this ministry. Feel free to engage the girls in conversation about her school, her interests and what kind of dress she’d like to find. If she is receptive, stay with her and help her look at dresses, walk with her to the Dressing Rooms; if a girl is less interested in contact and wishes to shop on her own, that is certainly fine.
Dresses are organized by size and color. Short dresses are mixed in with long. Encourage girls to try on a dress prior to selecting it. Each girl is only allowed 3 dresses at a time in the Dressing Room, then they’ll need to select 3 more and return to the end of the line. This is important so that the line keeps moving and every girl gets her turn. When shopping is light, we can allow you to “feed” dresses to girls, but otherwise, only 3 dresses per girl. Encourage girls to try larger dresses, reminding them that some dresses have been altered.
Re-racking Dresses - the Dressing Room Attendants cannot leave the Dressing Room areas, so it is important that you return dresses from their RE-RACK racks. If you return an unwanted dress to the Boutique floor, please pray: "whoever chooses this dress, may she see herself as a beautiful and beloved daughter of God."
Be sure to put dresses on the correct size rack, with the size tag facing out, arranged by color. Button buttons and zip zippers. If any dresses drag the floor, get safety pins from the Dressing Room and pin the hem to the waist or neckline, whichever is strong enough to hold it. If a dress is broken (zippers, buttons, rips), take it to the “Alterations” room in the Youth Space. We are only offering light alterations, replacing buttons & hooks or repairing seams but cannot make dresses larger or smaller and probably not hem them.
Each girl may take home ONE dress per girl. No exceptions. We will not “hold” dresses. Girls can take one dress and if for any reason it doesn’t work out, she can come back and exchange it before 3:00 pm Saturday. Girls cannot shop for their sister or friend. If you need an exception to this, please send the person to Laura and we’ll figure out how to get what they need.
To save the zippers, encourage girls to pull dresses on like a t-shirt over their head.
Make statements like “you are beautiful” and “that will be fun to dance in,” but avoid any judgments such as commenting on body shape or need for better bra, shapewear, etc. Encourage girls to have their dress steamed at the top of the red stairs (in Wesley Hall). They may also shop for jewelry & shoes (in the Prayer Chapel). These are free.
Prom dresses are strictly for high school girls. Mothers, Aunts, Grandmothers, and Chaperons are welcome to select a dress from the “mature styles,” which is located near the Check-In table.
We reserve some dresses to refresh inventory the 2nd day (Saturday), so 2/3 of the dresses are on the floor Friday. If you know what a girl is looking for, you may retrieve additional dresses, but do not take girls to the storage area. You can say, “Let me see if there is a navy short size 10” or whatever they are looking for.
No children or boyfriends or men in the Boutique. No exceptions. Babies are allowed.
Dressing Room Attendant - 6 volunteers per shift: 2 @ each of 3 Dressing areas (6 dressing rooms in NE and NW corners of Kenwood and community dressing rooms on the stage)
Thank you for serving at the Dressing Rooms. You will have an important role in helping girls make their selection and feel good about it. You’ll also keep an upbeat, happy tone and keep girls moving so that others do not wait too long.
We encourage each girl to try dress(es) on in order to select a dress. Some girls may be uncomfortable with this, so the following is important:
- Must have at least two (2) attendants at each Dressing area (Safe Sanctuary requirement).
- Encourage girls to lay dresses on the chair inside the dressing room. If they hang them on the frame it may pull down and we’ll lose time rebuilding it. Or offer to hold dresses and hand girls additional dresses and items as needed.
- Ensure dressing room “walls” remain private; clothespins are available.
- Maximum of three (3) dresses in each dressing room (important so everyone gets a chance!). Then each girl may select another three (3) dresses and return to the end of the line. Do not “feed” dresses except for times when there is no line.
- Encourage girls to try larger dresses, as some dresses have been previously altered.
- Zippers easily break. Encourage girls to pull dresses on over their heads like a t-shirt.
- There is spot-remover and Febreze available for your use, as well as safety pins.
We have three (2) volunteers each shift. One should be at the Dressing Rooms’ Entrances to call girls in as rooms become open; the other manages the dressing rooms, handing dresses to girls, helping to zip, button, etc. If there is a long line, stay calm and upbeat, and feel free to use fans and open windows.
Please keep dresses on hangers.
- Put dresses on the rack outside the dressing area, on hangers with buttons buttoned or zippers zipped up and all facing the same way.
- If a dress is broken (zippers, buttons, rips) and you do not think a girl will select it, ask a Shopping Helper to take it to the “Alterations” in the Youth Space.
- We will not “hold” dresses. Encourage a girl to send a picture to whomever needs to “see” it or just take their favorite and if it doesn’t work out, they can come Saturday before 3pm and exchange it.
- Others will re-rack dresses for you. Please do not leave the dressing area unless there are two other volunteers present.
- Clean sweep the dressing rooms after each girl – put left-behind items (cell phones, glasses, etc.) in the LOST & FOUND box for girls to (hopefully) come claim.
Once a girl selects a dress, encourage her to have it steamed and bagged upstairs in the Connect. All wrinkles disappear and it takes only a few minutes. She may also shop for jewelry & shoes upstairs while her dress is being steamed.
Encourage the girls--remembering it's not the dress that’s beautiful, it's the girl who is beautiful! "You are beautiful! That color is lovely on you! Dancing will be so fun in that dress!" Avoid subjective judgments on body shape, need for better bra, shapewear, etc.
PRAY silently for each girl: "May she be aware of her true beauty."
Check Out - 1 volunteer/shift, in the hallway in front of doors to Kenwood Hall
Thank you for serving at the Check Out. It is important that we thank each girl for coming and keep a count of how many dresses we give away and how many girls did not select a dress. We need to know basic information about who we are serving in this Blessed Dress Prom Boutique. You are also an important face and voice of thanking them to assure that each girl feels good about having come to Blessed Dress KC.
Ask each girl if she found a dress, might be obvious if she is carrying one. If she did not, ask why and capture the notes (ex. didn’t have her size (what size did she need?), didn’t find what she wanted, no modest styles, etc). This will help us be better prepared next year. You do not have to push this, only if the girl is responsive. Encourage girls to tell their friends to come, offer the small pink cards for information.
Simply tally Yes and No so that we have a count, and capture any comments by writing them down. Periodically (every 50 or so) tally the number of dresses given, this way we can know throughout the day what our count is.
Each girl who did select a dress, invite her to have it steamed and select jewelry or shoes, both are at the top of the red stairs.
Each girl can take home ONE dress per girl. No exceptions. We will not “hold” dresses. Girls can take one dress and if for any reason it doesn’t work out, she can come back and exchange it before 3:00 pm Saturday. Girls cannot shop for their sister or friend. If you need an exception to this, please send the person to Laura and we’ll figure out how to get what they need. Mothers, Aunts, Grandmothers and Chaperons are welcome to select a dress from the “mature styles” which is beside the Check In table.
Encourage her to have her dress steamed, wrinkles disappear and it only takes a few minutes. Refreshments are also available upstairs.
Also ask each girl if she’d like to give her email address. If girls give their email, we will only use it to send information about next year’s Blessed Dress Prom Boutique and other events of Central UMC such as self-defense classes. It is not required that a girl provide her email. And she may have given it at check in.
Say: “If you’d like to give me your email, we can tell you about next year’s Blessed Dress event.”
PRAY silently for each girl: May you be happy, may you be at peace, God keep her safe.
Steamers - 4 volunteers/shift in Wesley Hall, in the Connect behind the red stairs
Thank you for serving as a Steamer. The steaming and bagging of the dress is an important part of what we are doing. This simple finishing act will make the girls feels even more cared for. Some girls may be traveling by city bus and so tying the bags at the bottom will be helpful.
Girls may think they don’t want to wait for steaming, which is fine.
There is a rack inside the door of Wesley Hall for girls to hang their dress. At times when there is not a line, girls can come directly to you and give you their dress. When there is a line, girls will need to hang their dresses in order and pin their name to it; you’ll simply select the next dress and steam it.
Last year, we found that many girls want to wait for their dress and watch the steaming. For this reason, you’ll be set up in four stations, each with a steamer, distilled water, thank you cards, a stapler, and snacks. You have an opportunity to interact with the girls. During times when you are not steaming, feel free to visit with any guests in the Connect.
Once steamed, slip a plastic bag over the dress leaving the dress on the hanger. Please attach the “thank you” card by stapling to the top of the bag. This card also invites each girl to share a picture of herself in her dress, you might make a personal invitation to each girl to do this.
Once steamed and bagged, hand it to her, or if she’s not with you, check the jewelry & shoes, take it to her, or return it to the rack inside the door and assure the girl’s name is on it (it’ll be obviously finished because it is in a bag). Thank her for coming.
We recognize that steaming is hard work. Take care of your back, stay hydrated and feel free to sit and lower the dress to steam the bodice.
PRAY: "God, let this day and this dress assure this girl of Your love through us, that she is beautiful and worthy. God keep her safe."
Jewelry & Shoes - 2 volunteers/shift in the Prayer Chapel, in the Connect behind the red stairs
Thank you for serving in the Jewelry & Shoes room. The jewelry & shoes are a fun part of what we are doing. The generosity of offer these items completes the extravagance of our generosity in this Blessed Dress ministry and will make the girls feels even more cared for. Some girls may be traveling by city bus and will ask for a bag, we do not have any, but if you have access to anyone who might give us pink jewelry bags for 2017, that would be great.
It is important that we limit selection to two pieces of jewelry and only for prom girls. A pair of earrings counts as one piece of jewelry. This is important so that our jewelry selection is available for all of the girl. Girls may be shopping for jewelry while waiting for their dress to steam and so will not have their dress with them. Girls who did not find a dress are still welcome to select jewelry, shoes and accessories.
To reduce any temptations to take more, the jewelry table is arranged so that one volunteer is behind the table much like a jewelry counter. This also gives you the opportunity to serve the girls, showing them pieces and making suggestions.
If you have a chance to jot any ideas of what jewelry is most desirable, let us know. We have an opportunity to make jewelry for 2017, or host jewelry parties for UMKC or Rockhurst students to make jewelry for Blessed Dress 2017 or other groups who would like to learn jewelry-making techniques and contribute to Blessed Dress.
PRAY: "God, let this day assure this girl of Your love through us, that she is beautiful and worthy."