A local church is weeks away from hosting a fashion show that will promote unity and inclusion for children with special needs.
At Woodstream Church, located off Lottsford Road, there's a ministry designed for children with special needs. It's called Safe Place Ministry and the goal is to empower families, nurture children in their spiritual walk and provide fellowship opportunities that will raise awareness about kids' unqiue needs.
"Some experience bullying in school and have numerous challenges in school and in the community," said Debrah Martin, who leads the new ministry. "These children often are not included in activities such as fashion shows."
That won't be the case for long. On Oct. 14, the church will host a fashion show called "Wonderfully Made by God." The models are children with special needs. Each child will be escorted by a teenager who does not have a disability.
"The purpose of the Fashion Show is to provide children with special needs an opportunity to display their personalities while demonstrating that beauty has many different faces," Martin said. "We have models who are in wheelchairs, legally blind, hearing impaired, Down Syndrome and other disability categories."
Martin stopped by WUSA9 with two models and one teen escort Sunday. During an on-air segment, she thought about the smiles that lit up children's faces during a show just like it last year.
"When you see them rock the runway, you will know that we are really encouraging them to have self-confidence and grow their self esteem."
"It feels great to be a part of this experience knowing that I have a chance to help these kids," said Christan Jenkins, a 12-year-old who will be helping a little girl with special needs down the runway.
The event takes place Saturday, Oct. 14 from 2p.m. to 4p.m. at Woodstream Church. The church is located at 9800 Lottsford Rd. in Mitchellville.
Attendees must RSVP online.