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This woman is a fairy godmother for Texas teens in foster care heading to prom

Children in foster care across 30 Texas counties have access to a special boutique and a one-on-one appointment with Brenda Jones.

AUSTIN, Texas — For children growing up in foster care, special events like birthdays, recitals and prom can be times when they feel left out because they're missing a parent to guide them.

It's something Brenda Jones noticed during her more than 30 years working for the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS).

"I wanted normalcy for our kids. We had all these boxed up clothes in a hot warehouse, and it was hard to get the dresses out. So that's when I decided to create this boutique," Jones said.

Jones created the Be You Boutique, located inside the DFPS building on 14000 Summit Drive in North Austin. 

"I named it 'Be You,' as in be your own kind of person," Jones said. "That's what I want them to be. You don't have to change for anybody. Just come in and just be yourself."

The room is filled with donated shimmery dresses, jewelry and shoes, as well as a whole section for teen boys who need tuxedos. Jones said her favorite part of the experience is seeing the way the teens light up by the end of their visits.

"So, when they come in, they're kind of really shy and not talking. They don't want to pick anything out," Jones said. "But by the time we get out of here, they feel amazing."

Jones said the Be You Boutique is donation-based and especially in need of dresses that are size 16 and up. She said anyone can bring donations to the front lobby of the DFPS building.

For more information, email promrack@dfps.state.tx.us or call Jones at 512-375-2127.

KVUE launched the Forever Families segment with Partnerships for Children (PFC) in June 2020 to highlight children in the Heart Gallery of Central Texas who need secure and permanent families. Every day, there are nearly 1,000 children waiting to get adopted in Central Texas, according to PFC.

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