By Bethann Coldiron—
Michelle Belgrave was one of three children to a single mother who worked hard to ensure that her daughters’ prom would be special.
“When we were in high school, she did everything she possibly could to pay for our prom,” Belgrave said.
What spurred Belgrave to start the Stephenville Prom Closet was an ad she saw on the popular “Stephenville buy,sell & trade” group on Facebook.
“A lady had posted on ‘Stephenville buy,sell [&] trade’ if there was a place she could donate jewelry for girls who could not afford nice jewelry for prom,” said Michelle.
There are prom closets in Fort Worth, Granbury, and Comanche, but there was not a similar service in Stephenville.
“So, I said, ‘You know what? I’m just going to do this,’ and ran with it,” said Belgrave.
The prom closet has been open since Feb. 27 and is still looking for donations. Five girls have already signed-up for appointments.
The prom closet is still looking for dresses, however.
“We would like to have around 30 dresses, just so we could have enough for the girls to choose from,” said Michelle.
The closet also needs shoes, jewelry, and accessories.
“People can sign-up online to volunteer but mainly just bring shoes and jewelry and dresses. We also need monetary donations. We’ve been getting a lot of dresses size 1 through 5, and we had one girl sign-up who is a size 14, and we don’t have that size. So, those donations would go towards buying her a dress,” she said.
Stephenville Prom Closet was started with the intention of just helping girls get access to free prom dresses, shoes, and accessories, but Michelle said that she has received dozens of messages with people wanting to donate hair and makeup styling and photography.
“All the girls are insanely appreciative of what we are doing,” said Michelle.
But not everyone in the community agrees with what the prom closet does.
“A lady on Facebook said she didn’t think this was ok. She thought they needed to do community service or something in order to take part of my services,” said Michelle. “I didn’t say anything. People are going to have their own opinion, but I’m not going to make these girls feel shameful because their parents can’t afford prom.”
“Girls deserve to feel beautiful like that at least once, whether or not their parents can pay for it.”
To learn more about the prom closet, visit the “Stephenville Prom Closet” Facebook page or contact (254) 485-9745.