Formal Dress Collection

Updated: Feb 10

By Lindsay Mulhollen

It is hard to believe that another prom season is just around the corner! For most of us, our prom night has come and gone. Now it is time for our younger siblings, cousins, and friends to experience this common high school rite of passage.

For some, prom is all about making memories with the people that have stuck by your side. For others, prom is that one occasion where you can go all out by getting dolled-up in the prefect gown!

But what happens to the gown after that night? Some people like to pass their dress on. Others sell theirs or even hold on to it for sentimental reasons. If you’re anything like me though, it winds up at the back of your closet taking up too much space and collecting dust.

If you have it in your heart to part with the gown but don’t know what to do with it, consider donating it! There are all sorts of organizations that were established for the very purpose of collecting used gowns to pass on to those who may otherwise not be able to afford their perfect gown. Below are five organizations with similar missions:

Operation Prom “established in 2005, is a national 501 c 3 nonprofit organization that helps low-income students attend their Proms by providing free Prom dresses and tuxedos. Operation PROM provides resources, opportunity and mentoring to at-risk teens, those who are homeless, sick, or disabled.”

The Glass Slipper Project “is a non-profit organization that collects new and almost-new formal dresses and accessories and provides them, free of charge, to high school juniors and seniors who are unable to purchase their own Prom attire.”

Becca’s Closet “to keep Becca's dream alive, countless dedicated people throughout the world have joined to provide opportunities for those who seek them. Although the core mission of Becca's Closet, located in the Festival Marketplace in Pompano Beach, FL, was to collect and distribute dresses to high school girls with financial need, our goals have expanded to offer additional opportunities for deserving young people.”

Project G.L.A.M. “provides economically underprivileged young women with prom dresses, makeup, and accessories so they have everything they need to feel confident, proud and beautiful at their senior prom. As the largest prom dress giveaway in the country, with over 7k gowns in stock, our goal is to ensure that every young woman in need across New York City has the opportunity to attend her senior prom.”

Cinderella’s Closet “originated as a ministry of Immanuel United Methodist Church in Lakeside Park, KY in 2006 and has now grown to other churches throughout the country. Each is founded on the belief that providing formal wear is simply a way to show God's extraordinary love to some amazing young women.”

If by chance you are on SRU’s campus, considered donating through College Dress Relief! Until the end of March, CDR will be collecting donations of gowns and accompanying accessories for proms, homecomings, and other formal dances and events. Drop-off locations include: the second floor of Eisenberg Classroom Building, the lobby of Watson Hall, and Bailey Library.

We will be accepting dresses of all colors, styles, lengths, and sizes. All donations will be going to Autumn’s Closet at Michele’s Head 2 Toe Beauty Salon. Autumn’s Closet is a new, completely nonprofit boutique that provides free-to-borrow dresses so that every girl can experience their memorable occasion!

A special thanks to those who have already donated or plan to! Pictured are two donations that we have already received. For more information feel free to reach out to me by email at lam1035@sru.edu.

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Photo Credit

Lindsay Mulhollen (@lindsay_mulhollen)


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