By Brendan Mortensen SYRACUSE N.Y. (NCC News) — Anne Oliver and Jeanne Cronise are two local moms that work for the Liverpool School District. They are also the leaders of the local chapter of Becca’s Closet, an organization that gives prom dresses to girls who couldn’t otherwise afford them.
Community members and businesses donate dresses, makeup, and shoes to Becca’s Closet. Oliver and Cronise work with a group of Liverpool high school students to sort and organize everything that is donated, and have giveaways at local churches and schools.
Oliver has three daughters herself, and knows how much of a financial burden going to prom can be. “Two of them I made their prom dresses by hand… and it doesn’t save any money just in case you were wondering,” Oliver said. “That was part of the reason I got involved with this, is because I realized that after three girls, it is a monumental expense,” she added.
Oliver and Cronise have been leading this chapter of Becca’s Closet for about 11 years. They estimate that they have given away about 2,000 dresses over their years with the organization.
Cronise added that they hardly ever have a girl that leaves without a dress, unless they ask for something extremely specific. They receive such a high volume of donated dresses that they usually have a large selection of sizes and colors for girls to choose from.
The group also gets support from the local Wegmans, which donates makeup to the good cause. “I filled my entire Subaru with boxes of makeup,” Cronise said.
Cronise added that she knew she was hooked on this cause because of just one interaction. “There was this girl who was in really bad shape, she wasn’t healthy. And she found a dress, which was very difficult to fit because she had a lot of things going on. And, we walked out of there, it was like “oh my god,” it’s just the feeling that you get. That was it, that was what sold me,” she said.
The next giveaway will be at Wetzel Road Elementary School on April 6th.