Now through March 28, Project Prom, an initiative of the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, is accepting public donations of formal attire at One Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15222 (in the first floor lobby) from 8 a.m.-6 p.m., Monday-Friday.

All donations must be undamaged and clean and be appropriate for current fashion styles. Suggested donations include gowns (if worn, please dry clean); accessories, including wraps, formal handbags, new hosiery, and new makeup; formal prom shoes (silver, gold and black preferred); and jewelry (new or gently worn). All earrings, however, must be unused and in their original packaging.

Monetary donations can also be made to help purchase tuxedo rentals and dresses in hard-to-find sizes. Checks can be written to the “DHS Donations Fund” and mailed to: Project Prom, One Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, Pa., 15222. Please write “Project Prom” in the memo line.

Since 2003, Project Prom has given eligible high school students the opportunity to choose free formal attire from a selection of thousands of donated items. To be eligible, a student must live in Allegheny County and:

* have a caretaker receiving unemployment benefits;

* receive or be eligible to receive a free school lunch; or

* receive services or have a family member receiving services currently through the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.

“If you have a prom dress that you no longer need, rather than letting it hang in the back of your closet, you could donate it to Project Prom,” said project manager Ondréa Burton. “Prom is an expensive evening, and your generosity may make it possible for a young lady to attend that special night she might otherwise miss.”

(For more information about how to donate, call 412-350-3428 and leave a message. For more information about Project Prom, visit

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