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The Association of the United States Army or AUSA is accepting donations of women’s formal attire in the initiative, “Operation Deploy Your Dress.” CONTRIBUTED

AUSA sponsors ‘Operation Deploy Your Dress’ for women’s gowns

MADISON – The Association of the United States Army or AUSA is helping military families with its current project, “Operation Deploy Your Dress” or ODYD.

AUSA, a nonprofit educational and professional development organization, serves America’s Army and supporters of a strong national defense. AUSA provides a voice for the Army, supports the soldier and honors those who have served to advance the nation’s security. (ausa.org)

The Family Readiness Directorate and ODYD campaign are accepting donations of gently used and new formal attire in all sizes for women. Individuals also can give accessories, like shawls, purses and jewelry, to complete the woman’s formal attire, according to Marc Jacobson, who is President, AUSA Redstone-Huntsville Chapter.

ODYD’s primary goal is to improve the quality of life for military families by offsetting expenses of attending formal military functions. The initiative’s slogan is “Deploying America’s Patriotism – One Dress at a Time.”

Organizers will collect donations in two drop-off locations during the AUSA Global Force Symposium:

* Von Braun Center, East Hall — At Booth 2122 for AUSA Family Readiness group. Individuals can bring their donations to this booth on March 26-27 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on March 28 from 9 a.m. to noon.

* Rocket City Bash – At U.S. Space and Rocket Center in the Davidson Center. Organizers will accept donations on March 27 from 5 to 9 p.m.

For easy access, a QR code is included on fliers for Operation Deploy Your Dress. For more information, email familyreadiness@ausa.org.

Family Readiness provides connections to relevant resources with the “Army Matters” podcast series, publications, social media, year-round expositions and symposiums, virtual and in-person events, forums, scholarships, advocacy efforts and ODYD.

ODYD was founded in 2015 at Fort Bliss, Texas, by military spouses who organized a dress swap to lessen the cost of formal wear for holiday balls. The idea quickly grew into an organization run by dozens of volunteers, offering gently used dresses and accessories to military members and dependents.

The group now has 13 shops across the U.S. and one in Germany. In the past six years, ODYD has given away more than 20,000 gowns, saving military families $2 million, according to ausa.org.

AUSA is open to everyone – those with a relationship with the U.S. Army and people who want to support soldiers.

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