CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — No gown? No problem. One local woman says she wants young girls to feel and look their best this prom season.
“Many of us wear a dress to prom or a wedding and it’s sitting in our closet. Can you relate?” says Jackie Manuel.
Now for the second year, Manuel is on a mission to give out gowns to girls who need them most, and she is asking for donations of new and used gowns to give away.
“I had so many mothers who came up to me in tears last year who said they didn’t know how they would have bought a dress for their daughters,” said Manuel. “I don’t want anyone to stay home because they can’t afford a dress and I am so excited when I receive shipments. A friend of mine sent me a dress and she was even sweet enough to get the dress cleaned before she gave it to me.”
Manuel has about 100 dresses and 75 leftover from the 2016 event. These include all sizes, all colors and gowns from as far away as Portland and Pittsburgh. This year, she’s giving away shoes, certificates for a free hair appointment and accessories. Salons including Essentials Hair Salon, E & J Salon and L.A. Hair have donated their services.
All Jackie is asking is that girls bring a bag of diapers to donate to the Greater Hampton Roads Diaper Bank. With that, you’ll also be automatically entered in the raffle.
Manuel has spread the word through Facebook and word of mouth. She is looking for donations as soon as possible ahead of her giveaway on Saturday, April 8 at Bayside High School. All students are welcome to stop by and pick out a prom dress at the event from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Jackie Manuel is the mother of Bayside graduate and NFL star EJ Manuel. She says her son is very proud of her and stands by her giveaway.