“ODYD began at Fort Bliss in late 2015, when founders Renee Chapman, Ronya Rendon, Yvonne Coombes, and Melissa Riely decided to organize a dress swap among their units’ spouses, as a way to defray the costs associated with purchasing formalwear for holiday balls.
It wasn’t long before the idea became an organization, run entirely by dozens of volunteers. With the support of Fort Bliss’ Garrison Command and the Fort Bliss Spouses’ Club, ODYD set up a location next to the Thrift Shop. Soon, other installations expressed interest, and within one year, ODYD opened at Fort Eustis, VA, and Joint Base Lewis-McChord, WA.
ODYD is now a well-organized store, albeit one that “sells” its goods for free. Military servicewomen and military spouses can come to ODYD and select one dress and one accessory per year. They simply need to present their military ID card and sign the record book, and they can walk away without spending a dime.” – MILITARYSPOUSE.COM
HOW TO HELP
Click on any of the ODYD locations on the website to read more about where to send your donations or pick up your free formal wear for this year!
Balls are a significant part of our rich military history. These formal events are intended to honor important traditions while building unit cohesion and camaraderie amongst soldiers, spouses, and honored guests.
Many of our soldiers (especially those that are of junior rank) and their families are on very tight budgets. In an effort to make attending the military ball as affordable as possible for them, we are seeking donations of gently used formal wear. If you happen to have any prom/ bridesmaid dresses or other formal gowns that you never wear (or plan to wear), we would greatly appreciate it if you would consider donating! All sizes and styles welcome. Also, we will happily accept any formal wear accessories such as jewelry, shoes, purses, etc.
Thank you in advance for your consideration to support this effort! Additionally, if you have any friends, family members, or other connections that may be interested in helping out please pass this info on.
If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us!
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