There were adults present Saturday at Dobys Bridge Presbyterian Church, but they mattered little.
Because when the kids from Rock Hill's Children's Attention Home - a shelter for abused and neglected children who have nowhere else to turn - showed up to go shopping, the church's teenagers ran the whole show.
It was the youth group at the church that, for the last three weeks, collected new and gently used clothes. The teens themselves named their ministry "Just 4U!" because the texting language is how kids communicate these days.
The youth group prepared the clothes for the Attention Home kids to come and get for free. They exchanged name tags with the Attention Home youths as soon as they arrived Saturday, showed them around, laughed with them as everybody looked for outfits.
The adults - All they had to do was stand back out of the way, and marvel.
In a flash, there was a gaggle of girls in a back hallway helping a 13-year-old girl try on outfit after outfit and offer opinions as girls will do.
In another room, another teenage girl was trying on stuff - all of it donated and collected by the Dobys Bridge youths, who helped decide if an outfit was great or looked like a blind designer wanted color-clashing to come into style.
One of the Dobys Bridge girls, Katy Whitesell, and her girlfriends oohed and aahed over outfits for children who come from a place, the nonprofit Children's Attention Home, that saves so many kids.
"These girls are just like me," Katy said.
The boys of the youth group helped, too, as much as teenage boys can help with clothes, because the Attention Home has boys who are in need, too.
As many as 36 children are at that home at any time, getting the nurturing they need even as politicians seek to save money at the expense of children by cutting funding for the home by more than 30 percent.
The Dobys Bridge youths were having none of budget cuts that would affect other kids.
Alanna O'Brien, just 13 and in the seventh grade, brought up the idea of the clothing collection to the church youth group that her mother, Katie, runs at the church. Alanna brought in her Girl Scout troop, her friends at school.
"I just thought that we could do something good," Alanna said, "for others."
So in a frantic three weeks, the youth group collected clothes. Bags and boxes came in; tables were brought in to make displays; clothes racks were found, signs made.
On Saturday, it all came together.
Libby Sweatt-Lambert, executive director of the Attention Home, coordinated getting the children to the church in Fort Mill.
Sweatt-Lambert has spent many years speaking up for these kids from her Attention Home - kids who have no lobbyists and no political action committees to speak for them.
"Children always have the biggest hearts," she said.
When the kids from the Attention Home tried on clothes, the workers from the home, the parent volunteers from the church and the Dobys Bridge kids all looked at them and cheered for them when they looked great.
These kids who are so often overlooked by the world around them were, at last, the centers of attention.
Dobys Bridge is not a big church by any measure. Its youth group has about a dozen members. But they collected the clothes, and Saturday, they befriended a bunch of kids who were able to get new outfits and try on those clothes and get treated like rock stars.
"Adorable!" called out a 12-year-old youth group member named Libby Nelson, to an Attention Home girl, also 12.
Libby Nelson grabbed that little girl's hand and they giggled together as only girls that age can do. They held hands, lingering, as friends do at any mall store fitting room area.
Then the other girls from Dobys Bridge did the same thing with new friends from the home. Handholding in a hallway, and smiles for somebody else who sure could use a smile.
What happened Saturday, which culminated three weeks of hustle by young people of a church, was not about charity. It was not about philanthropy.
Saturday morning at Dobys Bridge Presbyterian Church was about love.
Want to help?
The nonprofit Children's Attention Home, established in 1970, is a shelter for abused and neglected children. It has helped more than 6,000 children and features emergency and long-term housing and a charter school.
How you can help:
Write to: Children's Attention Home, P.O. Box 2912, Rock Hill, S.C., 29732