DALLAS – Preparing for prom can cost teens a pretty penny. Factor in outfits, makeup, hair, rides, and other essentials, surveys suggest students can spend an average of $600 on the big night.
Some workers and volunteers with Dallas Public Library are working, once again, to help young women reduce some of that burden. The Dallas Public Library is giving away donated dresses, shoes, and accessories through its Fairy Tale Closet program on Saturday, March 10.
The seventh floor of Dallas’ Central Public Library Downtown is decked out. It has been transformed into a massive closet with nearly 1200 donated dresses and gowns up for grabs. The dresses are in all colors, all styles, and all sizes.
One librarian said, "We have the Cinderella type of dresses, but we also have the sleek dresses, glittery dresses. Some modest dresses."
Librarians and volunteers have taken time to sort the dresses. Many of the donated gowns are from high-end designers. All of the dresses are free to young women in the Dallas area who are planning to head to their school prom in the Spring.
"The girls, of course, are grateful,” said Melissa Dease, the Library’s Director of Youth Services. “But, I really see it in the moms who were probably sweating it, like, I want to give my daughter the best prom experience she can have. But how am I going to do that if I can't afford it?"
Dallas Public Library has been helping young women get prom ready through the Fairy Tale Closet for five years. When students arrive on Saturday, staff and volunteers will serve as “fairy godmothers.” They will help each girl pick out everything from the dress, to the shows, and even accessories to complete their looks.
'When they find the perfect dress, that's when you see the most excitement,” one of the librarians added. “You might even see some of them cry because they've never seen themselves wearing such a beautiful gown before."
The Fairy Tale Closet team says its goal is to help as many girls as possible transform into prom princesses.
The Fairy Tale Closet will be open March 10, from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., at the Dallas Central Library. The staff says walk-ins are welcome.