Thanks to community leaders, some creative options for securing dresses and formalwear for prom are happening this spring
Prom dress giveaways and information on where to donate
Have a prom dress to donate? Perhaps you’re looking for a prom dress but money is tight. Say “YES” to the prom dress (and other related formalwear) in Champaign-Urbana when you donate, consign, or browse for a new-to-you prom dress.
Here are some creative options for finding a prom dress this season. Please note, available dresses will be limited in quantity and you must check with giveaway organizers for any additional restrictions, such as being an enrolled student at a specific school district in the area.
Looking to donate dresses or formalwear?
Mike Ingram is still collecting dresses, shoes, accessories, men’s wear, and more for this year’s C-U Prom Giveaway at 1422 S. Neil St. in Champaign. Please do not donate items that need to be cleaned; his team of sewists can handle minor repairs (reattaching a strap, for example). Bring items to Farren’s in downtown Champaign any time the restaurant is open.
Uniting Pride is collecting formalwear to give away for this year’s Queer Prom. Donate formalwear (dresses, suits, skirts, blouses, slacks, blazers – whatever you have!) to Uniting Pride. Email email@example.com for more information on donations.
At other times of year, you can always ask your local high school’s drama department if they would be interested in receiving a formalwear donation.
Giveaways for the 2023 prom season
Threads4U Free Prom Boutique (for Unit 4 students, parents and staff)
Michelle’s Bridal /M2 Place for Prom has made their second year of beautiful, varied, and all-sized contributions to Unit 4’s Threads4U. Tags-off dresses are professionally cleaned by Starcrest Cleaners, free of charge. See open times below or for appointments, text or email Dr. Gray at (217) 974-1154 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
C-U Prom Giveaway (for anyone)
Taking inspiration from his aunts’ Rossville resale shop that has given away hundreds of prom dresses over the years, former Champaign County Recorder of Deeds Mike Ingram has coordinated a prom dress/accessories giveaway in Champaign that is even bigger and better than his first attempt in 2022, when more than 700 dresses went out the door to new homes. This year’s goal is 1,000 dresses.
The giveaway takes place thanks to the hard work of a multitude of donors and volunteers, and is located in donated space at 1422 S. Neil Street in Champaign. Giveaway times are currently scheduled as follows:
Fri 4/7 – 3-7pm
Sat 4/8 – 11am-6pm
Mon 4/10 – 1-5pm
Tue 4/11 – 3-6pm
Wed 4/12 – 3-7pm
Sat 4/15 – 11am-3pm
Sun 4/16 – 2-5pm
Mon 4/17 – 3-6pm
Fri 4/21 – 1-4pm
Sun 4/23 – 1-4pm
(additional dates TBA)
Anyone is welcome at those times, and every single item is free — including dresses, shoes, clutches, hats, jewelry, and even a limited amount of menswear.
For more information, follow the hashtag #cupromgiveaway on social media or check in with the Facebook event, where you can also sign up to volunteer. Volunteers with sewing skills especially welcome!
Uniting Pride Queer Prom 2023 (for friends of Uniting Pride)
Youth ages 13-18 who are attending Queer Prom will have the opportunity to peruse donated formalwear (and accessories) and dress authentically in a safe, empowering, affirming environment prior to attending this year’s Queer Prom. Queer Prom is May 13 from 6:30-9:30 p.m.; information (including registration, which is now open) can be found on the Uniting Pride of Champaign County website.