YWCA Hosts Prom Dress Giveaway for Teenage Girls

March 12, 2014

Prom season is just around the corner, and thanks to My Sister’s Closet, Collage Designer Consignment and radio station 99.5 The Vibe, high school girls from all over Jefferson and Shelby counties, who otherwise might not be able to afford a prom dress, were able to find the perfect gown, at little to no cost for their special night.

PromPalooza opened its doors to young women from over 30 area high schools who were referred by teachers, guidance counselors and social workers. On the day of the event, more than 1,000 beautiful new and gently used prom dresses were arranged on racks for these girls to choose from – free of charge.

This year, My Sister’s Closet combined their annual giveaway with another annual prom dress event from Collage Designer Consignment to make an even bigger event with even more dresses! While some girls had vouchers for free dresses, as My Sister’s Closet has done in the past, anyone was able to buy a donated prom dress for only $19.95.

“Our entire staff has been overwhelmingly blessed and humbled through this experience in hosting PromPalooza 2014 with My Sister’s Closet of the YWCA," said Tracy Dismukes owner of Collage Designer Consignment. "What a joy and a blessing PromPalooza has been for all of us at Collage Designer Consignment, and we are already looking forward to PromPalooza 2015!”

But PromPalooza was not only to offer beautiful dresses. Girls with and without free dress vouchers shopped alongside each other in an environment where no matter the socio-economic background, they were all there to find that special dress.

“I watched a wide-eyed girl stare at the rows upon rows of dresses. It was her first prom, she didn’t know the right size and she didn’t know where to start,” recalls YWCA Central Alabama’s CEO Yolanda Sullivan of helping a young girl at the Premier Party. “We finally found the right dress. As she walked back to the dressing room, she lit up with a big smile, jumping up and down whispering ‘Yes! Yes!’ to herself. Seeing this girl go from a blank face to absolute joy moved me. It was an empowering transformation to witness!”

The concept for My Sister’s Closet began when the YWCA started a shelter for victims of domestic violence. Many of the clients who came to the shelter fled with only the clothes on their backs, so the YW began a small boutique for these women. My Sister’s Closet not only meets the basic clothing needs of our clients but also provides appropriate clothing for clients to wear to job interviews and to wear to work. Clients are referred to us by the counselors in area shelters and are given “gift certificates” to enable them to shop, free of charge, for the clothes and accessories that they need. My Sister’s Closet is also open to the public Monday—Friday 11:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m.—1:00 p.m. the second Saturday of every month. Proceeds from My Sister’s Closet go to YWCA services.  

The YWCA appreciates all of the donations and dedicated time from volunteers and supporters to make PromPalooza 2014 a success. If you would like to contribute to My Sister’s Closet and all of the other YWCA services, please click here.