Prom Gown Giveaways in Pittsburgh Help Teens Celebrate That Magical Night

Several events are scheduled at the end of March for students to ‘shop’ for that perfect dress.
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It’s that time of year again when high school students are thinking about prom. There are several programs in the Pittsburgh area that provide special gowns and accessories for free to those in need or who simply want the perfect gown. Here are three of them: 

Project Prom

Project Prom is just one of many local giveaway events that provide donated prom dresses and formal attire to those in need. Sponsored by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, the program each year typically collects about 3,000 new and gently used gowns in current styles. . 

“Since 2003, thousands of young adults have made their selections from innumerable donated items,” according to a statement on the Allegheny County website.

Project Prom Shop will be held at 10 Duff Road in Penn Hills, 15235. At this writing, there were still openings for “shopping” from 3 to 7 p.m. Monday, March 27, and Thursday, March 30 and from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 1. Each participant must register for a time slot. 

Students who qualify include:

  • Those who receive a service through the Allegheny County Department of Human Services.
  • Those from households that qualify as low-income or are eligible for free or reduced-price school lunch. 
  • Those who have military active duty or a veteran in the household.

You can learn more and register for Project Prom here.

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Bless A Dress

More than 3,000 new and gently used prom dresses, shoes and accessories and even bowties are expected to fill the Pittsburgh Indoor Sports Arena from March 30-April 1 as part of the Bless A Dress free giveaway. Since 2016, Michelle Simon and her husband have run this operation with the help of their community and a passion for good deeds. 

The event is open to all girls anywhere who want a prom dress; family income levels are not considered. 

“It’s more of a random-act-of-kindness event,” Simon says. Bless A Dress has been advertising its message recently on their TikTok and promoting the thousands of gowns that will be available.   

Simon says she was hesitant about promoting the event on TikTok at first but has seen amazing growth in outreach for the project “We had girls come in from Akron, Ohio because they saw it on TikTok,” she says. Anyone can donate formal attire that will be given to teens at no cost. 

The event will be held at the sports arena, 22 Rich Hill Road, Cheswick, 15024 from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, March 30 and Friday, March 31 and from 9am to 2 p.m. Saturday, April 1.

Community Prom Dress Giveaway

Mrs. Pennsylvania 2022 Tamara  Abney and Mrs. Pennsylvania 2023 contestants are hosting the first Community Prom Dress Giveaway on March 26 from 2-4 p.m. on the North Side in partnership with Tri-State Cinderella Project. More than 100 dresses will be available at the event to be held at Project Destiny’s Manchester Resource Center, 1810 Fulton St., 15233. 

After working with the Tri-State Cinderella project previously through her ongoing career in pageantry, Abney knew she had to start an event on the North Side of Pittsburgh, where she is from.

“I was intentional in putting this event in my neighborhood,” she says and she’s excited to give back to her community. This is also an effort to redistribute dresses and promote sustainable fashion in her community, she says. 

This event is open to anyone in Pittsburgh; each “shopper” can have only one dress and must be present at the event. SisterFriend Inc. also will be there to offer hygiene products to those who need them. 

Donations of dresses will be accepted; to arrange that contact Abney at


Categories: The 412