Donate your formal wear to local students going to prom

The Prom Dress Exchange and Eblen Charities’ Prom Dress Express are outfitting students with dreamy dresses for their big night.

woman smiling putting a red beaded prom dress on a rack of other dresses

Meet the mastermind behind The Prom Dress Exchange.

Photo via Marsha van Rijssen

Table of Contents

It’s almost spring, but to high schoolers, that means it’s almost prom season. Despite the excitement of getting gussied up for the occasion, cost can make formal wear inaccessible for many. However, there are a couple of organizations where you can donate your used attire and help someone new say yes to the (prom) dress — for free.

The Prom Dress Exchange

Started by local Marsha van Rijssen, this initiative is in its third year of providing dresses, women’s suits + separates, and accessories to students at no cost. Donations of accessories, black suits (men’s and women’s), Woolite, and prom dresses can be donated at the East Asheville Library on Wednesday, March 6, 10 a.m.-1 p.m., and Friday, March 8, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. or donated at AC Reynolds High School. Students can shop a dazzling selection of dresses at Groce United Methodist Church on Friday, March 22 from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 23 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. — plus, sewists and volunteers can lend a helping hand to make the magic happen.

Prom Dress Express

Eblen Charities’ annual formal wear giveaway is slated for Saturday, March 16 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Wednesday, March 20 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. at its office at 23 Hamilton St. Donations of gently used dresses, tuxedos, and accessories are accepted at its office on weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

More from AVL Today