FRIDLEY, Minn. – (Feb. 4, 2016) – Although it is only February, prom season will arrive sooner than you think. For many girls, finding the perfect prom dress can be a big issue, especially financially. A local program has the goal to help those girls in need. “Project Prom is an organization, we collect new and gently used prom and bridesmaid dresses and then give them out to girls across Minnesota. We found that the cost of prom is so high a lot of girls can’t go at all or really struggle to find something they can afford so by providing a free dress we’re allowing them that chance to grow,” said Project Prom founder Jeni Asaba.
The project has been really growing every year and it all spawned from a vision Asaba had in college to help people. “At Bronx Community College where I was in the Bronx they had a high school actually on the campus and we saw it was a very low income area and we were really involved with hunger and homelessness issues and I said what’s something we can easily collect that people have in their closets at home. I mean it’s something they don’t want to just toss out, you’ve spent a lot of money on a dress you want it to go somewhere that’s a good cause and we just started collecting. It’s grown every year, people love the idea of giving their gowns somewhere that can be used again,” said Asaba.
The number of donations continues to rise. The dresses come from individuals as well as several local companies supporting the cause such as Hope Chest Bridal in Ham Lake and Salon HALO in Robbinsdale who have donated hundreds of dresses. This level of community support leads to some very happy prom-goers. “It’s the reason I keep the project going, just seeing the smiles and then seeing the tears from the moms and the grandmas gets me every year. They said I didn’t know how I was going to afford a prom dress and you guys made this come true. Even last year one of the girls sent me a picture afterward that’s featured on the website and she said she felt so beautiful and didn’t expect that so to be able to give that gift to somebody is really powerful,” said Asaba.
Project Prom is available to anyone who needs a prom dress. While some of their clients come from low income households, many others are simply interested in reusing and recycling. They have dresses available in every style, shape, size, and color, and volunteers are on hand to help the girls find their perfect dress For more information on the project, how to donate, or how to sign up to get a dress click here.