CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A local nonprofit organization is providing free prom and homecoming dresses to high school students in need.
Belle of the Ball project was established in 2003. The nonprofit's mission statement is "no girl should be denied the opportunity to attend her high school dance because of financial difficulties."
Belle of the Ball has given away thousands of dresses.
Jadejha Edwards received a free dress about two years ago when she attended her high school prom.
She said she skipped dances for years because she could not afford to buy a dress.
"I came here and it was overwhelming with all the dresses and to be honest the dress really makes prom," said Edwards.
Ladies can show up to the boutique on 1210 Holt Avenue in Clearwater and shop for dresses on certain dates.
"It's really done on an honor system. A lot of the schools and social workers will tell the girls about Belle of the Ball. We don't ask for [their] financials. We don't ask for proof," said Simone Mestanza, a volunteer.
Edwards said she is so grateful she got an opportunity to pick out a prom dress.
"They probably don't understand the difference that they make in people's lives, you know. If you ask any woman who has gone to prom if she remembers what her prom dress looked like and I guarantee you some of them probably still have them," said Edwards.
Homecoming 2019 shopping dates are as follows" Saturday, September 21st 9am-2pm, Saturday, October 5th 9am-2pm, and Saturday, October 12th 9am-2pm.
No appointments are necessary.
To learn more about the Belle of the Ball Project visit: http://www.belleoftheballproject.com/