Local church holds dress giveaway for teens and adults

Devin Martin
Created: September 24, 2020 10:49 PM

(ABC 6 News) - This year there are no lights, no DJs, and no dancing in high school gymnasiums across the state due to the pandemic, but that didn’t stop a big name retailer and a local church from making some prom magic happen.

"I've tried four on. So now I'm just debating on which one to actually take home. It has been fun and a really nice gift to the community,” Lydia Rude, dress shopper said.

While many teens may not have a dance to wear them to, they still had a night they probably will never forget, picking out the dress of their dreams.

"Typically you'd be out in a store buying something for a prom or wedding or whatever have you. This has been kind of nice and an ease of mind. It's kind of a surprise and a nice gift,” Rude said.

Macy's department store in Rochester decided to donate over 350 gowns and over 100 kids outfits to High Point Church in northwest Rochester, because of all the work the church does in the community.

"One of the executives have heard of the Church. He has had a relative that had a funeral here and during that, time learned that we like to do outreach. We do a number of things with Minnesota Adult and Teen Challenge, women’s facilities as well of men’s,” Pastor Amy Gustafson of High Point Church said.

Pastor Gustafson said they'll continue to hold these dress giveaways until every gown and outfit finds its perfect fit. She says seeing people smile makes this event all the more special.

 "We've had a number of women who have just said they feel pretty for the first time in years. We've had a lot of women who come in and look in the mirror and see tears start to run down their cheeks and they're just so excited about it,” Pastor Gustafson said.

And for friends Athieei and Lydia, shopping for dresses gives them an escape from their school day and social life that's less than normal right now due to the pandemic.

"They've been trying to get me out to do stuff for so long and they were like hey, there's free dresses. It's good to come with friends,” Athieei Lam, dress shopper said.

Pastor Gustafson says seeing the success this event has had gives her hope more things like this can happen in the future.

"It's a very big surprise but a welcomed one. It's been so much fun and so rewarding to see the joy it's brought to people,” Pastor Gustafson said.

The church will have another dress event next week. 

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