STAUNTON -- Two local women have been giving prom dresses to high school girls who can not afford to go to prom for the past 10 years.
"Some kids' parents don't care about them going to prom, and the kids do, and I think every kid should be able to do it," said Cinderella Project organizer Debbie Shickel.
Shickel and her volunteers have set up a store in the Staunton Mall for these girls to go to get their dresses for free. Any girl who needs a prom dress can get an invitation to the store from their school guidance counselor.
The store has hundreds of dresses in many different colors and sizes for the girls to pick from. The store also has some items for boys.
"There's no shame in coming," Shickel said. "This is not like going to a clothes closet. We try to arrange this like a store. It's a shopping experience, the girls get to choose, we don't just say 'hey, you gotta wear this."
Shickel said the whole process is anonymous. No one will have to know where you got your dress from.
The Cinderella Project also has other items that students can get for free, such as perfume and shoes.
"We've had kids come in here that just need a jacket for the boys or that needed accessories, or they don't need a dress, they just need a shirt," Shickel said.
Shickel said the Cinderella Project has grown over the decade. When the program started, they helped about 10 girls. Last year, they served about 60.
She said she wishes to serve even more kids this year.
"We would love to make our ten year anniversary 100 kids served," Shickel said.
The store will be open every Saturday starting this weekend.
If you're interested in getting a dress from the Cinderella Project, contact your school's guidance counselor.
Shickel says all the dresses have been donated from people and local stores. She says they still need volunteers and other donations to help more teens this year, including items for boys.
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