Hometown Hero | Educators collect donations of gently used formal attire for students

Published: Oct. 7, 2022 at 5:48 PM EDT
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SOUTH POINT, Ohio (WSAZ) - Some of the fondest memories for teenagers are being able to attend homecoming, a dance, or prom, but it’s not always financially feasible for every family.

“It’s from hair and makeup to jewelry to the dress and being able to go to dinner and flowers. Those are expenses that a lot of the kid’s families just don’t have, especially with the economy right now,” Mrs. Tabitha Smith said, a teacher at South Point High School.

Smith along with Kim Ritchie, a teacher at South Point High School, started Cinderella’s Closet, collecting formal attire donations for both boys and girls to help students have access to clothes for special events.

“When you realize it’s an adult thing to dress up and look special. It’s not something you get to do every day,” Smith said. “It’s one of my fondest memories is getting all polished up and feeling special. I want all the kids to have that experience.”

Tifanie Arbogast, South Point Local School District Board Member, helped with getting donations for the community by putting a post on social media.

“The community wants to help and do things to help the kids, but they don’t always know how,” Arbogast said.

Even the smallest details, like a corsage or bouquets, can be found in the closet.

Smith taught several of her students how to sew and do alterations.

“Ms. Smith altered 17 dresses which helped students too,” Kim Ritchie said.

On the day of South Point’s homecoming in September, the educators organized the girls to have their hair, makeup, and nails done at the board office.

“If we can take a little burden off the family and make them feel special like a princess or prince for the evening, that’s what it’s all about,” Smith said.

You can drop off dress clothes or homecoming and prom dress to South Point High School or the board of education office.