For many, if not most teenage girls, prom is a big deal. There is picking out the dress, having their hair and make-up done and then having prom pictures taken on the big day prior to dancing the night away and making a memory that, for most, will last a lifetime.
Not every teenage girl’s family can afford to make this happen for them, but a local church is doing something about that
The Creek Church, which is headquartered in London and has campuses in Williamsburg, Somerset and London, will be helping nearly 40 girls get ready for prom Saturday at locations in all three towns.
“We just wanted to find a way to connect to the next generation of women and just let them know we are here and we are for them. We figured prom is a big day in a girl’s life,” noted Gabbi Hartzell, director of The Well, which is The Creek Church’s women’s ministry.
There are already some churches and programs that provide teenage girls with prom dresses, and rather than compete with that, the women of The Well decided to help the girls get ready for prom instead.
“This is something that we started in 2017 just to get the girls ready for prom. They come to our events and we give them professional hairstyling, nails, makeup and professional photos and we do it all for free,” Hartzell said.
During the first year of the program, the church helped students at two schools. Last year, the program served 53 girls at eight schools, and this year the program is serving 10 schools and has already surpassed last year’s total with one more weekend to go.
“We’ve had a lot of outreach with it. We had a school reach out to us this year asking if they could send their students. A lot of businesses have donated supplies and stuff,” Hartzell added. “We do try to make sure we go through the youth service centers so that girls, who wouldn’t otherwise have these services, can come and partake.”
She said the girls schedule an appointment ahead of time at the facility nearest to them by going through the group’s website at promprep.org.
This weekend Prom Prep events will be held at the London campus, the Williamsburg campus, which is located inside Cumberland Regional Mall, and at The Phoenix Wellness Center in Somerset.
This weekend’s events will be the third weekend in a row that Prom Prep has been busy, and this weekend’s events are the last of this prom season.
Hartzell added that Prom Prep has become a national campaign.
“We have now created tool kits so that organizations across the country can bring Prom Prep to their cities,” she noted.