JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A local church is helping First Coast families put on their Sunday best for Easter by giving away free clothes.
The First Baptist Church of Oakland held Operation: Dress Up. Community members and businesses donated more than 500 new or gently-used outfits for the church to give away.
"This is a way for us to make sure we meet people's physical needs, and my prayer is that they will allow us to begin to meet their spiritual and emotional needs," said Torin Dailey, the church's pastor.
Dailey says the tradition of dressing up for church on Easter is a long-standing one, and can be a reason some decide not to go.
"Many times people are reluctant about coming to church on Easter Sunday because of self-esteem issues," Dailey said.
"[They'll say] 'I don't have anything new to put on, I don't have anything new for my children to put on, so we're not going to go this year.'"
Kutura Watson brought her son, godson, goddaughter and little brother to the event.
"I recently lost my job and I know every year we try to get the kids something to dress them up for Easter, or Resurrection Sunday," Watson says.
"I came out to get them something so they would feel good about themselves."
But Watson says, though she's grateful for the clothes, she knows it's not just about the outfit.
"I feel great. I feel great. I know that this goes further than the church that it's from God. It's from the Almighty."
It took weeks and dozens of volunteers to prepare for the clothing giveaway.
Dailey estimates the church was able to provide Easter clothes to more than 350 families.
First Coast News