Need A Dress Or Suit For Prom? Here’s How You Can Get One For Absolutley Free!
by James Coulter
Prom is right around the corner. Do you need a new dress or suit? What if you could obtain a new outfit without spending a dime? You can! Here’s how:
For the eighth consecutive year, Project Prom of Polk County is offering free suits, dresses, shoes, and other accessories through their temporary location within the former Sears wing of Lakeland Square Mall.
Best of all? Everything is free! Eligible high school students only need to sign a waiver promising they will abstain from alcohol and drugs on prom night, and they can have the dress or suit of their dreams.
High school junior, Abel, 17, is one of many volunteers helping to run the store. He loves participating in a project that allows students like him to obtain their own prom clothes, especially if they don’t have the money.
“I think this [Project Prom] is very important because it helps people who are less privileged have a great time at prom and it makes the playing field equal for everybody so everyone can have a good time,” he said.
Project Prom is organized through two local non-profit organizations the UthMpact Coalition and InnerAct Alliance. They opened their temporary pop-up shop in Lakeland Square Mall nearly a month ago, and operated it on Feb. 29 and March 15. Their next two dates of operation will be March 21 and April 4.
Aside from their Lakeland location, Project Prom also opened a temporary location in Haines City to provide a similar giveaway, offering free dresses and suits to local students.
Both Emma and Whitney, 16, learned about Project Prom through the UthMpact Coalition. They joined the coalition as a way to provide themselves the opportunity to give back to the local community. Both of them love being able to help their fellow students find good clothes for the prom, as well as keep them safe on prom night.
“Prom can be really expensive,” Emma said. “I think it is great there is a store that can serve all people no matter how much money they make, how much they can spend on their prom, so they have a great prom experience.”
“I think it is important because it gives free dresses to people who might not be able to afford them and also prevents drugs and alcohol use on the night of prom,” Whitney said.
Megan, 17, volunteered as a way to help give back to her community. She loves being able to see students walk away with a great prom outfit without having to offer an arm and a leg in exchange.
“I think it is important to give back to the community, and I feel that being part of this organization really helps to do that,” she said.
Project Prom will be operating on March 21 and Apr. 4 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Their store is located within the former Sears wing of Lakeland Square Mall at 3800 US Hwy 98 N, Lakeland, FL 33809. For more information, call 862-802-0777, or visit their Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/ProjectPromofPolk/