What do you remember from your high school prom? The two I attended were a long time ago, but a couple of things stand out: Our theme one year was Billy Joel’s “This is the Time” (which now makes me weep just as surely as Vitamin C’s “Graduation” song). And my prom date was a cute urban musician with a ponytail before there were ponytails. Partway through the sit-down dinner, he leaned over and said to me with a puzzled grin: “Someone just pulled on my hair.” (I went to school in a small town full of mullets.)
I also know that I had a couple of gorgeous prom dresses, thanks to a creative mother who was master of the sewing machine. My gowns shimmered in ruby red and sapphire blue and they both made me feel like a princess. Thanks, Mom.
Wouldn’t you love to make another teenaged girl feel like royalty at her prom?
At this time of year, a number of North American organizations are accepting donated dresses for high school students who can’t afford them. Whether you’ve got a cocktail dress or an evening gown, a Vera Wang original or a Walmart knock-off… if it’s hanging in your closet doing nothing but rubbing shoulders with your work suits, maybe instead it can go to good use. Your gently used gown might make the difference between a girl staying home on prom night, and going out to dance her three-inch heels off.
Here, here and here are a few links to get you started. In the U.S., use this directory to find a drop-off location near you. Or, from anywhere, Google “donate a prom dress” to find oodles of drop-off locations.
I don’t actually know what happened to my hand-stitched dresses. But I do know what happened to the guy with the ponytail – last I heard, he’d become the TV co-host of a home improvement show.
We grow up, and we move on. But our dresses don’t have to stay behind.