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Donating Prom Dresses

Updated on December 2, 2014

Want to help make a peer's dream come true? Here's the info you need to donate a prom dress

The photos have been taken, the dances danced, the memories emblazoned -- now what? Why not donate your prom dress to make someone else's dream come true? It's one of the easiest ways to be a charitable teen and get that warm, fuzzy feeling of enabling a peer to experience the same all-dressed-up excitement you were lucky enough to have yourself.

For every young woman who vows to wrap her dress in tissue and never let it go, there's bound to be another who loves the idea of giving her beloved gown a second spin around the dance floor, this time on a peer in need. If you fall into the latter camp, read on for tips on donating prom dresses.

There are a number of organizations that take donations locally, but if you're not near one, no problem -- you can give your gown by mail. In general, if it's in good enough shape to give to your little sister, younger cousin or good friend, it's bound to make a stranger in need very happy this spring.

P.S.: If for whatever reason none of the suggested organizations that accept gently used frocks seem to fit the bill for you, why not consider taking this on as a leadership project at your school, church, sports team (or other school club/activity) or community organization? And why stop at promwear? At my kids' school, where long white dresses are mandated for graduating girls, two younger girls came up with the idea to collect these grad gowns after the fact and donate them to girls in need for their own formal events. Yes, such a project looks great on a college application or resume, but it's also a real-life leadership experience that will serve you well down the road -- and most importantly, there's that priceless feeling of having made a difference :)

(photo: susieq3c cc ~ cropped for size & shape)

Donating Prom Dresses 101...

Before donating your prom dress, make sure it's:

~ In excellent or like-new condition

~ A "recent" style (say, purchased new within the past 5 or so years)

~ Clean (unless you're dropping or sending to a charitable organization's drycleaning partner)

donate prom dresses
donate prom dresses

Donate a Prom Dress Through Princess Project

California

The Princess Project accepts donations of prom dresses in excellent condition from California teens. Their dress drive runs yearly from mid February to early March. This not-for-profit organization also accepts donations of $25 to send a girl to prom. Both monetary and dress donations are tax deductible. More info:

The Princess Project

donating prom dresses
donating prom dresses

Or Through Glass Slipper Project

Illinois

The nonprofit Glass Slipper Project has outfitted more than 17,000 young women in and around Chicago with donated prom dresses. Volunteer "personal shoppers" provide one-on-one attention to match each girl with the dress of her dreams. More info:

The Glass Slipper Project

Whitmor Satin Padded Hangers Pastel Set of 8
Whitmor Satin Padded Hangers Pastel Set of 8

Whether you're keeping or donating, a padded satin hanger is a pretty & practical complement to your prom dress.

 
Brand New Hot Pink Breathable Wedding Gown Dress Garment Bag
Brand New Hot Pink Breathable Wedding Gown Dress Garment Bag

Why should gown storage bags be boring? This breathable bag brings a pop of pink to your closet -- or your lucky dress recipient's.

 

Operation Fairy Dust

New York

Teens within striking distance of NYC can get a donated prom dress from Operation Fairy Dust. The nice thing about this group is that even if you don't live nearby, they make donating prom dresses easy through their partnerships with several drycleaners, who accept dress donations both in person and by mail. More info:

Operation Fairy Dust

can't find an organization near you that takes donated prom dresses?

Donate by mail!

Enchanted Closet

Georgia

Now in its 11th year, Enchanted Closet has provided more than 4,500 formal gowns to Atlanta area teens. This not-for-profit has even expanded its mission to offer "life-readiness workshops to girls at-risk for lower educational attainment, in addition to expanding its clothing offerings to include business attire for job and college interviews." More info:

Enchanted Closet

Donating a Prom Dress: See the results....

Would you ever donate a prom dress? Do you plan to this year?

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