Her Prom Closet supplies dresses and life lessons

Davina Jones: “There is a bigger picture to this. The overall thing is about giving back and blessing others."

Karanja A. Ajanaku | 3/9/2017, noon
Davina Jones: “There is a bigger picture to this. The overall thing is about giving back and blessing others."
Bryana Terrell rings the bell, signaling that she has selected the dress for her prom night. Photo by Karanja A. Ajanaku

“There is a bigger picture to this," said Davina Jones, founder of Couture Cares. "The overall thing is about giving back and blessing others. If somebody blesses you, then you need to be able to bless them.”

“There is a bigger picture to this," said Davina Jones, founder of Couture Cares. "The overall thing is about giving back and blessing others. If somebody blesses you, then you need to be able to bless them.”

Every minute of every day in every week of every month in every year there is a tangible example of somebody or some group stepping up to help someone who needs a hand in the African-American community.

Yes, there are gaps in the fence, with children suffering because of the missing links. Often, however, someone moves to fill the gap, contributing mightily to a magnetic force that draws others to a cause.

Just such a scenario was on display Saturday at Colonial Middle School, where the non-profit organization Couture Cares hosted the 4th annual Her Prom Closet event for high school girls.

While the guarantee of free prom dresses, shoes and accessories was the day’s prize, Davina Jones, founder of Couture Cares, said, “There is a bigger picture to this. The overall thing is about giving back and blessing others. If somebody blesses you, then you need to be able to bless them.”

The earlier one learns that lesson the better, and so the girls who attended Saturday’s session were given the opportunity to respond in kind, if they could.

“One thing we had them do,” said Jones, “was if they were able to donate a pair shoes, they brought a pair of shoes in today and we are going to donate them to Haiti on behalf of our non-profit organization.”

Jones surveyed the flow of young women in the foyer of Colonial Middle School and offered an assessment.

“We’ve grown in numbers. Every year we go up in increments of 25. This year we are actually servicing a hundred girls. That’s from all SCS schools, along with charter schools in Memphis.”

For Jones, service means “giving back our time. We’re servicing the young ladies as for as dresses, shoes and accessories. Just making sure their prom evening is an evening to remember. …There are a lot of young ladies that we were not able to accommodate.

“The donations were great but we need more to be able to invite more young ladies. There are a lot of young ladies in Memphis that actually do not go to the prom because of the expense (that) parents just cannot afford.”

Volunteers were on hand to make minor alterations to prom dresses selected by Nieyia Buckhanon and other girls who attended Her Prom Closet.

Volunteers were on hand to make minor alterations to prom dresses selected by Nieyia Buckhanon and other girls who attended Her Prom Closet.

Nieyia Buckhanon, a Fairley High School senior, was helping out and receiving.

“My auntie is actually volunteering for this opportunity and she told my mama (that) it was going to be a great opportunity for me to come down here and help and show girls about prom dresses,” she said.

“This is very important because there are some girls out here who can’t afford a prom dress. …It’s a great opportunity for the young ladies to come down here and donate their dresses to help somebody else out. And the fact that they donated shoes (to Haiti) also is really good.”

She, too, was fitted for the prom, which for her is downtown on May 13.

Bryana Terrell, a senior at Southaven High School, was locked in on getting a mermaid dress – fitted on top and flared at the bottom. The color did not matter.