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I Volunteered at the Gown-tastic Formals Drive

Donated dresses were available for free to local NWA teens at this volunteer event put on by Single Mom's Group in Rogers, AR

100% volunteer, over 500 dresses donated, and over 130 teens served

Did you hear about this event that went viral in Rogers, Arkansas? A small group of moms made sure any teen that needed a dress for an upcoming formal could get one for FREE and the Northwest Arkansas community showed up for the cause.

Volunteer Event Photography in Rogers, Arkansas

I was honored to volunteer with this fabulous group of ladies who volunteered all of their free time for 5 weeks to put on the event, held on March 9 at the Hyatt House in Rogers, AR. From a single post in their Single Mom's Facebook page about a mom having to tell her child they could not afford a dress for Prom, an idea was born. The Gown-tastic Formals Drive was created to find this teen (and many others in NWA) gowns for FREE, and a bougie event at that with mocktails, petit fours, cupcakes, a photobooth, a bracelet making station, free earrings and formal shoes, giveaway prizes, and so much more!

I donated my time to photograph the donated dresses as they arrived across NWA as marketing before the event. I gave graphic design advice for posters, social media posts, and their website. I photographed at the event itself on March 9 and it was amazing to see the smiles of each teen who was able to find their perfect dress. I also donated a $150 gift certificate for one teen to get Prom photographs, Senior photographs, or Family photographs taken by me.

The event itself was heartwarming. I heard one girl say to her friend "is it possible I found THE dress as the third dress I tried on?!" and it was, and she looked fabulous with a huge smile on her face. I heard moms bringing their daughters saying how they never got to go to Prom and are so excited their daughters get to go to their Prom. Even one of the main organizers said she was homeschooled and wish she could have had the opportunity to go to a school dance so helping others with that dream made her so happy. Volunteers brought their own daughters and got to see the excitement and gleam in their eyes of over 500 dresses to choose from. High School volunteers finished their volunteer shifts and immediately grabbed dresses they had been keeping an eye on all day to try on (and find their Prom dress too!). References were made to "Say Yes to the Dress" and cheering and excited giggles were prevalent.

The volunteers who founded the event promise there are more events to come (with over 300 dresses still available for future teens to find) and I cannot wait to see what they create next. Follow them on Facebook, Instagram, Tik Tok, and on their website too for more information.

Thank you for having me, Gown-tastic team!

Do you have a volunteer or non-profit event coming up in NWA that you need a photographer for?

I have a goal of volunteering 40 hours this year (see my 2023 in recap post) and I am always looking for suggestions (I love helping children, pets, and the food insecure and will jump to help if any of these are served with your event). Comment or email me to let me know!

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