Wilson based non-profit offers drive for students in need of prom dresses

WILSON, N.C. (WTVD) -- A local non-profit organization is on a mission to help students have their Cinderella moment during this prom and formal event season.

The Hall Foundation is hosting their 9th annual Cinderella Project to give away prom dresses to students of all sizes who might not be able to afford them. Angie Hall, founder of the Hall Foundation, knows about the need for accessible formal wear from personal experience.

"When I was coming up, my family, we couldn't really afford prom dresses. So, my grandmother made our prom dresses," Hall said. "And even though it was a great experience to have your grandmother make that dress, I wanted to give someone else that experience of not being able to afford a dress, but we are here to be able to provide that for you."

This year's Cinderella Project is hosted by Meridians Day Spa in Wilson. Meridians Day Spa is owned by January Dillard, and provides a big enough space for students to browse the large number of dresses available.

"Her space has a huge amount of space and many rooms that we're able to use that the girls can look at dresses and even try on dresses here," said Hall.

According to Dillard, each person donating an outfit for the dress drive gets the chance to play the role of "fairy godmother" for those in need of a dress.

"All the dresses represent a fairy godmother. Someone donated, whether it's an aunt, a grandmother, a mom. We've had even teens come in and donate what they wore last year," said Dillard.

Dillard said the Cinderella project is important because she feels a familial connection to those in need of dresses.

"It's community awareness. I feel like these are all our daughters," said Dillard.

According to Hall, the project currently has over 400 donated dresses to give away with more still being donated. The dresses range from size 0 to size 40. Donations are accepted year-round, and any dresses not taken are saved for the next year's Cinderella Project.

"We're still getting donations," Dillard said. "So just keep them coming."

The drive is open to all students in need of formal wear. Hall asks that students looking for dresses bring a parent or guardian and some form of school identification like an ID card or a report card.

Hall said they will accept tuxedos and suits this year, but she hopes to promote the donation of more men's wear for next year's drive.

"We have a lot of guys that reach out to us, a lot of schools reach out to us to see if we have suits or tuxedos for the young men attending the formals and the proms," Hall said. "And we haven't received any donations this year - Something I've tried to push in the past, but next year we're really hoping that we do receive those donations."

Students looking for dresses can visit Meridians Day Spa at 606 Fairview Ave in Wilson on Sunday, April 17, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. and on Monday, April 18, 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

According to the Hall Foundation's Facebook Page, donations are accepted at the Meridians Day Spa, 252 Head Quarters in Wilson, Carolina Billiards in Wilson and Miranda's Sweet Addictions in Rocky Mount.
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