H.O.P.E. non-profit gets gowns and green bills during homecoming dress and suit drive

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - It's homecoming season. If you remember from your time in school or if you are a parent now, it's expensive. However, it's also a special occasion! One local non-profit is trying to make it memorable for students at Jemison High School in Huntsville. WHNT NEWS 19 Pays it Forward with some gowns and green bills!

We met up with H.O.P.E. board members Eric Echoes and Lisa Handback. In short, they want Jemison's first homecoming to be the best ever! One way to do that is to make sure students are dressed to the nines.

"If you wanted to really make a difference and make a statement, you wanted to be extra fly," says Echoes, as he recalls his high school homecoming experience. "We wanted to make sure that these kids were extra fly, you know, and give them some real nice things."

In addition to gathering dresses, suits, shoes and other accessories, they're also raising money because there are a lot of extras when you're getting ready for a big occasion.

"The clothing that we're collecting has to be dry cleaned," explains Echoes. "We're also trying to get things like limousine rides, hair cuts, salon visits for the ladies, pedicures and manicures. We want to make their homecoming amazing!"

A month ago, Echoes dropped off empty racks to Jemison's front office, but they're not empty now.

"Look at this guys," says Echoes, as he and Handback walked into the room. "That is awesome."

As Echoes shared the good news on Facebook, I figured now was as good a time as any to let them check out our clothing donation and reveal our $319 surprise.

"Wow!" says Echoes. "Thank you so much!"

"Oh my gosh," replies Handback. "That is amazing. Thank you so much!"

The organization held a special event on Saturday, October 8th. They set up at boutique at the Richard Showers Center where students could come and choose what they wanted to wear. The homecoming dance for Jemison High School students is Saturday, October 15th.