Project Prom Atlantic County makes prom dress dreams come true for teens in need

Alyana Gomez Image
Friday, February 2, 2024
Donate gently-used dresses to Project Prom
Anyone can drop off new or gently used dresses of all sizes at Kensington Furniture in Northfield New Jersey.

ATLANTIC COUNTY, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Now that the holidays are behind us, many people are starting to plan for prom season. The glitz, the glamour, the gowns, the promposals. It can be such a magical, coming-of-age moment for teenagers.

But making those prom dreams come true comes with a big expense for many families.

To help, one Jersey Shore nonprofit is stepping up to make those dreams a reality.

"What breaks my heart is to think that there would be a kid who couldn't go because they couldn't afford to go," said Rene Kane, chair and co-founder of Project Prom Atlantic County.

The organization partners with the Boys and Girls Club to host a prom dress pop-up, donation and shopping event.

Each year, for the last decade, Project Prom collects hundreds of dress donations to distribute to teens across the region. They expect this year to be their biggest year yet. So far, David's Bridal is donating 500 dresses and the USO has offered 1,000 dresses.

Kane says this pop-up event is like a "say yes to the dress" shopping experience, where girls or boys are paired with a volunteer stylist and are treated to a personalized fitting experience.

For some girls, Kane says this is the first time seeing themselves in a gorgeous gown.

"We were crying to watch this girl just bloom right in front of us. She never saw herself like that, she never saw herself beautiful like that," said Kane.

Families are shelling out hundreds of dollars for the dress alone, with the average total cost of prom coming in at around $1,000 according to Amarra.

Starting February 1, anyone can drop off new or gently used dresses of all sizes at Kensington Furniture in Northfield, New Jersey. Donations will be collected through February 24, and the pop-up event is one weekend only: March 9 through March 11 at the furniture store.

If you can't make it out there, reach out to the team at Project Prom.