You can get just about anything you need at your local public library, from books and movies to… prom dresses?
Administrators at the Dallas Public Library in Texas know just how expensive it is to get ready for prom. Between the gown, shoes, and accessories, prom can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars. That’s why this library decided to start a program called Fairy Tale Closet.
The program started back in 2014. Every year, the library’s supply of new or gently used prom dresses is replenished by donations from businesses, charitable organizations, students, and corporations like Neiman Marcus. The library says they saw a need for the program because it evens the playing field for students who want to participate in this important social event but simply don’t have the means to do so.
“Prom is an expensive rite of passage,” said Youth Services Administrator Melissa Dease. “We started the Fairy Tale Closet to help every teen feel like a princess, regardless of their family’s economic need.”
Each year, students from all over the city flock to the event, spending the afternoon trying on gowns and dreaming about the fun night they’ll be spending in the spring.
For students like 18-year-old Tamora Phinisee of Dallas, the event enabled her to participate in her prom when she otherwise couldn’t afford to attend. “Really, we could not afford a real new dress that I wanted, so to be able to have it free – it’s nice. It’s a good opportunity,” Tamora said. “I get to pay for the important stuff I need, and then when I graduate for college I will still have money.”
“For people who don’t have opportunities to get dresses on their own, something like this is really, really amazing because there are some beautiful dresses here that I would have never expected to be here,” said one excited student. “But yet, they’re here and they’re for free and it’s awesome.”
The library hopes to accomplish more than simply providing a free service to their community; they’re also trying to boost the self confidence of these young women.
“I would rather spend money for college rather than a dress that I would only use one time,” stated senior Daisy Devora.
Junior Fatima Gonzalez agreed, adding, “It’s incredible that they have this option for people who aren’t rich enough to pay for their own dress.”
We’ve come to love our local libraries for all of the opportunities, classes, and services they offer… but this goes beyond our expectations!
We think other libraries across the nation should follow Dallas’s lead and start offering this program to their youths. Share if you agree!
Want to hear more good news from the Dallas community? Sign up for the InspireMore Dallas newsletter here.