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Free prom dresses from Cinderella Project

April 21, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
For more than a decade, the Cinderella Project has helped young women enjoy one of the most important events of their lives: their high school prom. The organization provides free dresses, shoes and accessories to needy young ladies. The program faces some tough challenges.Prom is a special time for any teenage girl, and choosing the right prom dress, well, that's just one of the highlights of the big event. But hundreds of high school students in Los Angeles can't afford a prom dress, and that's where the Cinderella Project comes in.

In South Los Angeles, the community outreach center A Place Called Home organized the Cinderella Project 11 years ago where mainly inner-city girls who were at a financial disadvantage get a free prom dress.

This year more than 500 girls will be here at A Place Called Home to pick out a dress and shoes and a handbag and jewelry, and they'll get some hair and makeup tips from stylists who donated their time. Organizers are giving these girls a prom night that they will never forget, and no doubt, it raises their self esteem for these young girls.

"The dresses have been donated from local communities," said Thyonne Gordon, executive director of A Place Called Home. "We've had people donate from different schools within the area. Organizations have brought dresses in. We had a company from New York send over 300 couture dresses to us. We've had dresses donated to us from pretty much every walk of L.A. and across the table."

This year outfitting will be over two days, Friday, April 30, and Saturday, May 1, and while the donors this year have been very generous, the Cinderella Project can always use more dresses, particularly dresses for bigger and full-sized girls.


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