KNOXVILLE (WATE) -- A group of UT students had been planning a fundraiser for the people of Haiti long before this week's devastating earthquake.
They hope now that the spotlight is on this country, even more money can be raised.
Since 2001, student volunteers with Sacred Heart Cathedral's Haiti Outreach Program have been able to help with the everyday needs of the people there.
"It was like walking in a National Geographic magazine," said Katie Erpenbach, a UT student volunteer. "I couldn't believe people actually live this way."
The added impact of a natural disaster has made it worse.
"It's weird to say, but it almost felt like a death in the family," said Katie Riley, another UT student volunteer.
"It's just not going to affect the people who are in the capital, but people around the country," Erpenbach says.
Riley and Erpenbach have been to Haiti numerous times for mission trips. They were planning to go back for spring break, but that trip has been postponed.
Since they can't go to Haiti in person, they hope a fundraising effort started months before the earthquake will now help.
They plan to raise money by selling dresses.
"It's really helping in more than one way," Riley says. "We are providing high quality, beautiful dresses for girls in Knoxville who couldn't afford a new one, but all the proceeds are funding the secondary school in Haiti."
All you need to do is bring gently-used dresses to any Prestige Cleaners location. The dresses will be cleaned and then re-sold on February 27 at The Emporium Center in downtown at 100 S. Gay Street from 2:00-7:00 p.m.
Dresses will also be accepted at any CBBC Bank in Blount County.
"Bring your gently-used prom dresses, formal dresses, homecoming dresses, anything you got," Riley adds.
"There are people who live right beneath us that could really use our help, and sometimes I feel they get push aside," Erpenbach says.
For ticket information for the Fierce and Fancy Formals Fashion Show and Dress Sale, email Katie Riley at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-323-6441.