Boutiques organize homecoming dress drive for flood affected teens

Boutiques organize homecoming dress drive for flood affected girls
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB
Source: WAFB

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Cinderella had her fairy godmother to get her to the ball. Local area girls affected by flooding have something even better.

Hope for Homecoming is a unique flood relief drive, aimed at making sure every girl makes it to her homecoming dance in style.

The homecoming dance is a rite of passage during high school. However, compared to flood recovery, the carefree youthful moment of finding that perfect dress just isn't a priority.

That's where a few St. Joseph's Academy alums come in. Sarah Wampler and Tia Whittington both graduated in 2004, and both run boutiques in the Metro area. After they were spared from flooding, they immediately contacted St. Joseph's to see if there was some way they could help.

"Everybody has homecoming coming up, they need a dress. We can help you with that," Whittington said.

The women organized Hope for Homecoming, asking stores and community members to collect formals for girls hit by flooding. By Wednesday, nine stores had collected more than 600 dresses.

The giveaway will happen Sunday, September 18 from 3 to 6 p.m. at the St. Joseph's Academy Arts Center, 2980 Kleinert Ave. in Baton Rouge.

While sequins and satin won't rebuild a home, Wampler believes it will give area teens something important.

"It brings out their joy, it brings them a new boost of energy when probably they're going through a hard time. It makes them a little happier and lifts their spirit and we love that," Wampler said.

The stores will continue taking donations for through Friday. Dresses can be dropped off at Bella Bella, Bustle, Currie, Head Over Heels, Hey Penelope, Swap Boutique and Soiree in Baton Rouge; Mingle in Port Allen; and H Kyle Boutique in Gonzales. In addition to dresses, Wampler said they are in need of donations of hangers.

Dutchtown High will host a "free shopping day" on Saturday, September 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for all high school kids to shop for homecoming and prom clothes. Organizers said they will have dresses for girls and pants, shirts, and jackets for boys. They said anyone is invited and all items are free. They added they want to thank Mel at Tuxedos To Geaux for donating hundreds of units for the kids and to St. Joseph's Hope for Homecoming initiative.

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