ETX ministry collects prom dresses, clothing for locals in need
TYLER, TX (KLTV) -
One East Texas family has started a ministry out of their own home to provide some of the most basic needs - including clothing - to people who suddenly find themselves without.
Ruth Ministries stands for reaching out, understanding, touching lives, and helping - a concept founder Julia Moreno says she came up with in 2010 after attending a Beth Moore conference and was inspired to show people kindness.
"We need to start embracing one another and taking care of one another and being there for one another and learning how to pay it forward," she said. "If someone does a kindness for you, then the best way you can repay that is to pay it forward and help someone else when you're given the opportunity."
One of the projects Ruth Ministries recently started is Pretty as a Princess, which 18-year-old Christina Moreno runs from her bedroom.
"Including myself, I know there are a lot of people out there that aren't able to afford dresses as well as the tickets. So a lot of people aren't able to go to prom, and it's just - it's a hard experience," Christina said.
Pretty as a Princess collects dresses and accessories, and Christina keeps an inventory of all the donations that have come in.
"We are basically accepting nominees, girls who aren't able to attend their prom because they can't afford the dress, accessories, the shoes, the hair, the makeup. We're providing all of that," she said.
The Morenos also run Ruth's Closet out of their home, collecting household, clothing and toiletry items for people of all ages - including Halloween costumes and holiday wear for children whose families who can't afford to buy them.
"We have a lot of these families who are barely making ends meet. A lot of these families don't qualify for state or federal aid, so therefore most of the social service agencies that use the outdated federal guidelines won't assist them either and that's where we come in," Julia said. "This is all about generous compassion. We can't do what we do without the help of the community."
Pretty as a Princess is accepting nominations until February 15 for girls who need help with prom. They are then having a fitting party for the girls in march.
They also have a need for other donations, including storage bins and clothing racks. You can learn more about donating items and the work Ruth's Closet and Pretty as a Princess do on their Facebook pages.