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Help a foster kid go to prom

prom dress

Left to right, Assistance League president Janet Bunting, Dream Dress chairwoman Sandy Ross and Dream Dress committee member Tere Simonson in the room where foster girls pick out prom dresses.

Here’s a feel-good program. Area foster girls are getting free prom dresses — and shoes and shawls and accessories — through an arrangement with the Assistance League of Fresno’s Thrift Boutique.

Many foster girls don’t go to prom because of the cost (the average cost was over $1,000 last year). So the league created the Dream Dress program last year and encouraged high schoolers to donate their used dresses. About 100 people donated and the program gave away 40 dresses. This year, there’s about 900 dresses in the league’s possession and hopefully a lot more foster girls looking for them.

One hurdle: There’s plenty of foster girls in the Valley, but many don’t even think prom is possibility because they don’t have the means, says Dream Dress chairwoman Sandy Ross. So this year’s program includes outreach to more than 30 social service agencies across the Valley. Girls need a referral form from their social workers to get a dress, which can be picked up from the Assistance League Thrift Boutique.

The program is still taking dress donations. For now, the dresses are in a little room in the back of the store. But they’re soon headed for their own space upstairs. The 1,200-square-foot space is being redone to feature six dressing rooms and a waiting area.

Details: Assistance League Thrift Boutique, 4771 North Blackstone Ave., Fresno, or (559) 226-4001.

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