A Derry community group has set up a new initiative to prevent local people getting into debt paying for the expensive clothes for their children’s First Holy Communion.
Eileen Kivlehan and Monica McClements of the Rosemount Resource Centre have opened a First Communion shop offering free holy communion dresses and suits for people struggling financially.
The outfits which are in perfect condition are available on a loan system to help take the sting out of what can be a very expensive event for parents.
“We decided to open the shop when a mammy rang me last year in a wile state telling me should couldn’t afford the shoes, veil, hair and make-up,” said Eileen. “But she didn’t want her daughter to feel left out and wanted her to have all the things the other girls were having.”
Monica added: “We decided to set up the shop and before we knew it a store in town had donated six dresses and four suits and a woman from America who read about us on facebook sent a box of dresses. The response has been amazing.
“The most important message we want to get out is that people shouldn’t be getting themselves into debt for First Communions. Don’t pay up for anything. It really is just for one day and we can help.
“We think there must be so many people out there who have dresses or suits just lying in wardrobes which could be put to good use. The styles don’t change over the years so even if it is a few years old it could help someone else.”
Eileen said that when she was younger first communion dresses would often be passed around members of the family and they wanted to make sure that people got the wear out of the outfits.
She also revealed that the first communion service is done in complete confidentiality.
If you have a dress, suit or accessories which you would like to donate you can contact Eileen on 07742717887 or Monica on 07851154874.
Or if you would like a dress or suit for your child please contact them. Outfits are allocated on a first come, first served basis.