Do you remember your prom? Think back…being so excited to get ready. Spending the day getting your nails and hair done and that evening you walk into prom feeling like Cinderella. It is something every teenager should have the opportunity to feel and experience. Prom is a time one of the first moments you start to feel ‘grown up’, going to enjoy a nice dinner and dancing the night away with your friends.
Unfortunately, it is also a very expensive evening, the prom tickets themselves are up to $75. This does not include the dress or tuxedo, nails, hair, dinner, and accessories. This was a discussion that was brought up during a committee meeting between Northside Hospital Forsyth and The Place of Forsyth County. In 2018, Northside Hospital Forsyth began its ‘Kindness Initiative’ to find ways to give back, whether big or small. As the initiative began and they were looking for other opportunities to help the community they reached out to a local nonprofit, The Place of Forsyth County. The Place assists people in the county with emergency needs and to be self-sustaining. They offer different avenues of assistance in the county such as; Financial, Workforce, Youth, and more.
Since the two have begun collaborating for Northside’s Kindness Initiative, the hospital has hosted drives for food, coats, and even toys for The Place Annual Holiday House. As the coat drive was ending it was decided to collect formals and tuxedos, this soon grew into the 1st Annual Gift of Prom. From the dress or tux to corsage or boutonniere, and everything in between, the Gift of Prom was formed. Once the word was out of the needs the donations began to pour in. A Total Value of donated items to send all students to PROM was $6,641.06. Over $2,000 in monetary donations as well as, Florist, Individuals, Stores, Hair Salons, and Volunteers donated time, services and items to make this PROM special for these students. Once the event was ready, students came to a fitting for their dress or tuxedo along with everything they needed to accessorize and even gift cards for dinner.
After the event, Naomi Byrne, the Youth Coordinator at The Place received several text messages from the teens. Naomi read some of the text, she received, “Thank you so much for this opportunity, Mrs. Naomi. I loved everyone there, that was such a big help.” Another message received, “Thank you sooo much, I will remember this forever!” Naomi Byrne said, “Being the Youth Coordinator at The Place is such a blessing. Everyone’s favorite moment was seeing the faces of the teens when they found their formal. It was also mentioned that a mother cried when she saw her son in his tuxedo. These are the moments we all will cherish, and we hope the teens will as well.”
Kay Sanders, Operations Assistant, ED at Northside Hospital Forsyth said, “There was not one of us that were not touched in some way especially helping the teens pick out their clothes. To see the look of pure happiness when they were walking out is more than I can even describe. This is definitely one of the many volunteer things that I do, that I will be involved with every year until I am no longer physically capable of handling it.”
More About The Place
The Place of Forsyth County is a 501(c)(3) organization founded in 1975. The Place is committed to its mission of assisting people of Forsyth County with essential needs and to be self-sustaining. The Place strives to be good stewards of donations received. Currently, 92¢ of every dollar donated goes back into The Place Programs.
If interested in learning more about The Place Youth Program visit www.theplaceofforsyth.org or contact Naomi Byrne, Youth Coordinator at The Place of Forsyth County at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-887-1098.
About Northside Hospital
The Northside Hospital health care system is one of Georgia’s leading health care providers with more than 240 locations across the state, including three acute care, state-of-the-art hospitals in Atlanta, Cherokee County and Forsyth County. Northside Hospital leads the U.S. in newborn deliveries and is among the state’s top providers of cancer care and surgical services. Northside has 3,000 physicians and 16,000 employees who serve more than 3 million patient visits annually across a full range of medical services.