Recycled Prom Dresses Make Dreams Come True for Local High School Youth


(Photo courtesy of Assistance League of Bend)

Assistance League of Bend is collecting new or gently used prom/formal dresses for their newest philanthropic project, ‘Cinderella’s Closet’. This new program is designed to provide prom dresses on a loan basis to high school girls in the community.

“We had an opportunity to procure 90 dresses from an Assistance League chapter in Southern California that had run a similar program. When that chapter decided to discontinue their program, Assistance League of Bend jumped at the opportunity to open a ‘Cinderella’s Closet’ here in Central Oregon”, explained Peggy Cook, co-chair for the program. With that humble beginning, coupled with a generous grant from a Bend supporter, Cinderella’s Closet now boasts an inventory of over 250 dresses.

“For the last few weeks, we’ve been posting on social media, such as Facebook, Nextdoor Neighbor, and Girlfriend Swap, and have seen an incredibly steady response. A couple of consignment stores are now on board with us, and we’re even receiving a small shipment of dresses from Northern California within the next few days,” stated Janet Martin, co-chair for the program. In addition to receiving assistance from outside sources, Cathy’s Cleaners, a local dry cleaning company, has offered complimentary cleaning of dresses received by Assistance League of Bend.

Working with Family Access Network advocates within the local high schools, the Assistance League is hoping to be able to reach a population of young women who will enjoy the benefits of this new program. Assistance League Associate members and their high school aged daughters will also be distributing flyers at each of the high schools to help get the word out.

While their inventory has grown since the program’s inception, Assistance League continues to reach out to the public for more assistance. “We want the girls to have many choices in colors and sizes when they come to ALB to pick out a dress. We want this to be an incredibly positive experience for these young ladies,” stated Peggy Cook.

Assistance League representatives will be available for drop-off donations of formal dresses, dressy sandals/shoes and costume jewelry every Saturday from 10am – 12pm through March 24 at their chapter house in Bend located at 210 SE Urania Lane, on 2nd Avenue and Urania Lane three blocks north of SE Wilson Avenue. Assistance League of Bend is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization serving Deschutes County since 1989, chartered in 1993 donation. The chapter is a member of National Assistance League with 120 chapters in 26 states. Donation receipts will be available.


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