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Rhonda’s Closet helps girls shop for prom with no price tag

Published: Feb. 20, 2022 at 11:30 PM EST
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SISSONVILLE, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Julia Black is the founder of Rhonda’s Closet at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Sissonville.

“Have a great time and you’ve got shoes, right?” said Black to some of the girls who have already picked out their dresses.

Sunday was the opening day for Rhonda’s Closet and all Julia Black asks when a young girl finds a dress that makes her feel special is to pass the love along.

“It’s the mothers. They’ll say well how much is this dress and I’ll say it’s nothing, you can keep it, and then she lights up and it’s just fun,” said Black.

The story behind Rhonda’s Closet is both about Black’s daughter and her best friend.

In 2006, her daughter needed a community service project and they were able to get about 40 dresses to give to girls that needed them. They operated through their church, Aldersgate United Methodist, which does multiple other community outreach programs like a food pantry.

Rhonda’s Closet is named and inspired by Black’s best friend who died of breast cancer in 2004.

“I know she didn’t get done in the world all the things she wanted to get done and I thought this would be something Rhonda would really love,” said Black.

The shop is open from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. on Sundays at Aldersgate Untied Methodist. The girls have more than 500 dresses to choose from including donations from last year and this year.

“I want to thank Nandel’s because they donated probably 60 dresses on Friday, so there are brand new dresses hanging here with the tags still on them,” said Black.

Girls can try on dress after dress to find the perfect style and color without the burden of a price tag.

“It makes me feel really pretty,” one girl said. “I walked in and they were just like if you need anything and they gave me a room and they help you pick out dresses and stuff.”

Black encourages girls to use their dresses again, share them with a friend or donate them.

Also, there are shoes available for girls who pick a dress.

Just as a precaution, Black says anyone who is unvaccinated is encouraged to wear a mask inside.

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