What if your daughter couldn’t go to prom, or didn’t want to go, because she didn’t have a dress. Maybe you couldn’t afford to buy it. Maybe just paying the bills, keeping food on the table and dealing with unexpected expenses has already got you strapped?


Aren’t they beautiful? These sophomores look absolutely stunning at their recent school dance.

Most of us live in wonderful, affluent communities where kids have MORE than enough. If your daughter is anything like mine, a new dress is requested for every event or special occasion. If they wore it on Instagram, you can bet they’re not wearing it again. It’s silly, but it’s true.

I was at the Wise Conference in The Woodlands, Texas a few years ago and discovered a great charity called a Dress For Barbara. The group is collects virtually new homecoming and prom dresses and gives them to young women in need.

Amy Brooks happily told me about her mission to help girls discover their inner beauty, while dressing them for outer beauty.  She told me many of her clients are deserving young women from just outside the Woodlands, who wouldn’t normally have the chance to wear some of these dresses and gowns. Some of the young women are coming from broken or troubled homes –  she says many have never been told they’re beautiful before. Her organization holds “dress days” where young women, who have a valid student ID, are invited to “shop” and pick a dress of their choice to wear to their special event.

You can find Amy through the group’s website or email her at adressforbarbara@gmail.com.

Find a “dress” charity near you

Here in Calgary, there is a similar organization called the Cinderella Project. If your daughter has a closet full of formal wear that she’s not using, consider donating these nearly new gowns to a charity in your community.

I had the opportunity to interview some of the girls who received dresses last year, and they were SO appreciative…and so were their parents. They were smart girls, who had part-time jobs and truly appreciated the value of a dollar. A local hair salon did their hair and make-up for free to finish off their outfits for the night.

Amy told me A Dress For Barbara was named after a dear friend of hers who passed away from cancer. I immediately liked Amy and what she’s trying to do. A little at a time, we can make a difference.

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Author Michelle

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