This library is making sure every student has a prom dress.
The Fairy Tale Closet gives away accessories, dresses, shoes and suits, entirely for free to any student who needs one.
According to a 2015 survey, American families spends an average of $919 on prom.
“Really, we could not afford a real new dress that I wanted, so to be able to have it free—it’s nice,” stated 18-year-old dress recipient Tamora Phinisee. “It’s a good opportunity. Because then I get to pay for the important stuff I need and then when I graduate for college I will still have money.”
The Dallas Public Library began the Fairy Tale Closet program in 2014. Residents and businesses donate dresses and other items every year, including stores like Neiman Marcus.
“I was a little nervous we wouldn’t collect enough dresses for two events, but I’ve been blown away by the generosity of people in Dallas,” said youth services administrator Melissa Dease. “Instead of not enough dresses, I don’t have enough racks to hold them.”
This year, the library also added an LGBTQ+ event for teens who wanted to pick out their outfits in an inclusive environment.
“We started the Fairy Tale Closet to help every teen feel like a princess, regardless of their family’s economic need,” said Dease.