Lt. Tomiko Whitlock with the Dougherty County Police Department inspects a newly donated prom dress Wednesday. Whitlock and other members of Women in Law Enforcement introduced the project to help make sure every girl who really needs a dress for prom can have one. (Staff Photo: Jim West)
ALBANY — For most of us, our high school prom was a night of wonderful memories which will last a lifetime. But for those young ladies who can’t afford a proper dress, the memories are not quite so good.
Tamiko Whitlock, a detective with the Dougherty County Police Department and others of her group, Women in Law Enforcement, want to provide a prom dress for every area teen who really needs one, Whitlock said.
“Some of us got together and decided we wanted to help the needy young ladies in Albany,” Whitlock said. “This our first drive to collect donated ‘lightly used’ dresses, but I’m sure it won’t be the last.”
Whitlock said the newly emerging organization of women, includes officers, deputies and employees of the Dougherty County Police Department, Albany Police Department, Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office and Dougherty County District Attorney’s Office.
The women’s group is working with the local CASA office and the Department of Family and Children’s Affairs (DFCS), who will provide lists of qualified needy families to receive the dresses. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) is established to provide specially trained volunteer advocates for the best interest of abused or neglected children involved in juvenile court dependents proceedings.
Whitlock said her law enforcement group has already collected around 30 dresses, but hopes to have 100 dresses by Feb. 28. The community is requested to donate a dress of any size or color or even to assist in organizing “drives,” Whitlock said. In addition, donations of time by hair stylists are being sought.
According to Whitlock, Eagle Cleaners of Albany has agreed to clean 10 of the dresses at no charge, and other area cleaners are invited to donate as well.
For information on how to donate a dress or service, call the Dougherty County Police Department at (229) 430-6600, the Dougherty County Sheriff’s Office at (229) 430-6500 or the Albany Police Department at (229) 431-2100.