It still may be a bit too early for prom season but when dresses are going for $10 a pop, it’s best to jump on that deal as soon as possible.
Jinhee Lee, a 2012 Cinnaminson High School graduate who is in her freshman year at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, is once again holding the Our Fairy Godmother dress drive, where girls can not only donate their old party dresses, but can buy one for the prom too.
She started the event last year.
Even though Lee is now in college, she still wanted to help out girls, who can sometimes pay several hundred dollars for their prom experience.
“I wanted to still give girls the opportunity to go to the prom,” Lee said.
According to an April 2012 Huffington Post article, the average family spends $1,078 on the prom—from the clothes, to transportation, to photos and even the after-party; the prom is a weekend event.
With dresses and tuxedos that can cost several hundred alone, Lee wanted to make the prom more affordable for high school students. From now until the end of February, she is collecting prom dresses from anyone who wants to donate, to sell for $10 to any girl in South Jersey who needs one.
Last year, she collected 167 dresses and 20 dresses were sold. The rest were donated to other prom dress drives.
She’s even reached out to dozens of high schools in South Jersey.
“A lot of people were emailing me asking if I was going to do it again this year,” Lee said. “I wasn’t sure if anybody wanted to do it.”
But they do. So far, she’s collected 30 dresses—some even coming in from towns like Pine Hill and Haddon Heights in Camden County. But she needs more help. The efforts to collect dresses got a little lost in all the donations collected on Rutgers’ campus for Hurricane Sandy victims.
Any gently used dress is accepted—short, long, formal, more on the casual side.
“Any dress that people see appropriate for the prom,” she said.
She’s again teamed up with Cinnaminson High School. After all the dresses are collected, girls from all over are encouraged to shop at the high school cafeteria where the gowns will be on display. The drive will be from 1 to 4 p.m. on March 2.
All sizes will be available, as well as some brand new dresses, donated by Jan’s Boutique in Cherry Hill.
To arrange a dress drop off, pick up or for more information about the drive, contact Lee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor's note: The Huffington Post chose Jinhee Lee as its Greatest Person of the Day. Congratulations to Jinhee—check out the Greatest Person of the Day page.