Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Grove Christian Outreach Center Helps Teens Get Ready for Prom

“This is just a little bit of tender love and care that we can provide.” Mariah Alling, Grove Christian Outreach Center’s community engagement coordinator, is taking donations to help teens in the Grove community get ready for prom. (WYDaily/Molly Feser)

WILLIAMSBURG — Grove Christian Outreach Center, 8800 Pocahontas Trail, has begun taking donations for teens in the Grove community who are in need of formal wear for prom.

The Center is reviving the program, which was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, to help young men and women get ready for prom.

The community can donate formal dresses, shoes, purses, jewelry, tuxedos and suits to be distributed to the teens on the day of prom, which is scheduled for Saturday, May 7.

“This is just a little bit of tender love and care that we can provide,” Mariah Alling, the Center’s community engagement coordinator, said.

Over the last month, the Center has already collected a number of dresses, suits and shoes in a variety of sizes from generous individuals in the community.

However, the Center will do more than distribute formal wear. The event will also give young ladies the opportunity to have their hair and makeup styled so that they can have a special prom experience.

Alling said that the Center has also partnered with a photography business so that the teens can get their prom photos taken.

“I like the idea of providing more than what’s expected out of the generosity of other people’s hearts,” she said.

The event will take place in the Center’s multipurpose room and will be set up on a first-come, first-serve time slot.

“I’m excited to bring this back since prom was canceled last year,” Alling said. “Since the mask mandate has been lifted, I think we’re going to have a lot more opportunity to have some fun.”

With around 65 volunteers a week, the Outreach Center provides food, clothing and financial assistance to Grove residents for free.

Its year-round programs include a food pantry and hygiene closet, clothes closet, school supplies, children’s snack bags and a bike ministry.

The food pantry is open to Grove residents for weekly visits, giving them the opportunity to restock fresh and perishable items.

“We have a COVID-friendly system of how families can select their groceries,” Alling said.

The clothing closet is also available by appointment and walk-in visits during the week. In 20-minute intervals, individuals can come in and collect clothing that they need.

“What I love about our clothing closet ministry is if we can’t use the clothes here because of our censorship policy, we send it off to another organization,” Alling said. “Nothing is ever wasted.”

For more information on Grove Christian Community Center, visit the website. Those who are interested in donating to the prom program, email

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