Checotah infant's death inspires family to help others

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Updated: 2/11/2013 10:16 am Published: 2/10/2013 9:47 pm

A Checotah family lost their infant son in May of 2012 but turned their heartache into joy by creating a charity to loan donated prom dresses to girls who could have been have been his future date.

The Garrett family, Joe, Sherrill, and their six children, Heidi, Shelby, Taylor, Kerry, Paige, and Kyle have worked together over the last five months to collect donated prom dresses from all over the country, and some are coming in from Canada. 

The idea started before Jake died. Sherrill Garrett was overwhelmed spending money on each of her daughter’s school dances.

“I thought it would be really cool if we could just borrow one once in a while,” said Sherrill. 

That was in January of 2012.  Five months later Jake passed away.

“After a few months of trying to keep from going crazy, a dear friend of mine said why you don’t do that prom dress thing you were talking about.  I said that’s dumb how would that really help me?  I thought it was a crazy idea and she said no you could call it “Dresses for Jake’s Dates.” 

Girls have been picking out their dresses to borrow the last couple months.  It brings Sherrill to tears each time. 

Some women who donate their dresses have their own stories about a lost child or they never had a prom so they are giving a dress from a wedding or a ball.

“How do you help someone who has lost a child?” explained Sherrill as she talked about how friends have offered to help but they didn’t know how; now they can with the charity.  

“There is nothing you can say or do.  Then when they feel like they can give to that cause, they feel like they are helping, so we have a lot of helpers!”

If you’d like to donate to Dresses for Jake’s Dates go to their Facebook page.

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