How to donate prom outfits or get one for free

Stretching Your Dollar
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JOHNSON COUNTY, Ind. — It’s time for a lot of students to plan for prom. But many can’t afford to go to prom. In some cases, kids can’t go because of the costly expense of a dress or tuxedo.

Dresses can range anywhere from $100 to $800, depending on where you get it and what kind it is. That’s why the Johnson County Public Library or JCPL is once again taking part in “Project Prom.”

“For students who don’t have formal wear, it’s nice for them to come in and browse our selection. They can find something that’s free and they can take it home with them,” said Monica Harvey, community relations specialist at JCPL.

You can help teens renew their style by donating your gently used formal wear, shoes and accessories. The demand is high and the needs are varied. They have several sites where you can learn more.

“We are looking for more plus size dresses and men’s formal wear, tuxes and black suits. And we always need more hangers,” said Kalen Jones, children’s and teens services librarian for JCPL.

Donations that have already come in are in the JCPL storage facility. They’ll stay there until they’re given away for Project Prom. Donated formal wear can be dropped off at any of the four JCPL branches. People can also take items to Sophia’s Bridal Tux and Prom at 2025 E. Southport Road, Indianapolis.

“We work with Sophia’s Bridal a lot. They have donated many dresses to us. We also get a lot of donations from the community, especially from sororities,” said Jones.

JCPL is taking part because they say they are all about access. In this case, it’s not just about having access to library materials like books.

They also want to provide access to formal wear kids might not be able to get. There are several dates when kids can come in and browse the selection, and take something home.

“Project Prom will be held at the Franklin Library branch on March 17th, 18th, and 19th and then again at the White River branch on April 7th, 8th and 9th,” said Harvey.

Outfits will be in the community room during library hours. They also take dresses all year long in preparation for prom season. We’re told many of the girls who got a free dress bring them back for others to use for proms to come.

Here are the addresses to the four library branches taking part:

  • White River Branch at 1664 Library Blvd. Greenwood, IN 46142
  • Clark Pleasant Branch at 530 Tracy Road New Whiteland, IN 46184
  • Franklin Branch located at 401 State Street Franklin, IN 46131
  • Trafalgar Branch located at 424 Tower Street Trafalgar, IN 46181

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