Helping teens get formal attire

Teens looking for gently used prom attire or people looking to donate can participate in a program through the Johnson County Public Library.

High school students looking for gently used formal wear can visit two local branches to pick up a gown or tux for prom.

The Trafalgar branch at 424 S. Tower St. will give out prom attire from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 17, 3 to 5:45 p.m. March 18 and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. March 19.

The Clark-Pleasant branch, 530 Tracy Road, Whiteland, will have dresses and tuxes available from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 31 and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 1 and 2.

Kelly Staten, adult and teen services librarian, tells you what you need to know.

What is Project Prom?

Project Prom is a young adult program through the Johnson County Public Library that helps teens find formal wear for prom. This year, Girls, Inc. will partner with us to serve as peer mentors and personal shoppers for the teens who come to the program. The program is held every spring at one of our branches and this is our fourth year for the program.How does it work?The library collects gently used prom, bridesmaid dresses, tuxedos, shoes and accessories and gives them to girls and guys who are in need of formal wear.

How do people donate?

Anyone can donate. Donations are accepted at all four Johnson County Public Library branches.

How much does it cost?

The dresses, tuxedos, shoes and accessories are completely free to any high school student who needs them.

Can I deduct a donation?

Donations are tax deductible, so if you donate a dress or tuxedo, you may ask for a tax receipt for your donations when you drop your items off.

How may are you seeking?

We don’t have a set number and will take donations year round. Currently, we have about 200 prom dresses that have been donated for this year but could use more donations of formal wear for the guys. Last year was our first year collecting items for them and things went quickly.

What will you accept as donations?

Dresses, shoes, tuxedos, suits and accessories. We do not accept make-up, perfumes, etc. Local business can also donate prizes to give away such as a free makeovers or updos for the ladies.

How did you get the idea f

or the program?Project Prom was created to fill a need that we saw in our community. Many girls and guys have told us that going to prom is important to them but the cost of formal wear was just too much for their families to afford. That’s where we thought we could help and began collecting donated dresses and tuxedos for the program. Over the past four years, we’ve given away hundreds of dresses and seen lots of tears of joy when the girls find the perfect dress.Where can I drop off a donation?If you have current style formal wear in your closet that you’d like to donate, you may bring it to any branch. Donation are also accepted at Sophia’s Prom, Bridal and Tux until March 30. Sophia’s also offers $75 off a new prom dress when you donate last year’s dress to Project Prom. For more information, call 738-2833 and we can provide you with directions to your nearest branch or answer questions about the items you have to donate.

Who can come and get a dress or tux?

Any high school student in Johnson or surrounding counties that is in need of formal wear may come to the program to check out our selection. We’ll have dressing rooms set up where they can try things on to make sure they fit before taking the items home. If they find something, it’s completely free and they can take it with them that day. We’d love to see them come back to show us their prom photos though.