Two Shreveport women who met in a public relations class at LSU have launched a branch of the Cinderella Project in Shreveport. The goal is to collect donated prom dresses this month for underprivileged high school girls who might otherwise not be able to afford a glitzy, high-dollar dress. Co-director Ashley Busada said in its first year in Shreveport, the nonprofit organization will give away dresses to about 130 juniors and seniors at Fair Park High School.
"We hope next year to keep adding on schools," Busada said. "Just from the response we've had this year, we have more than 200 dresses, and that's without this month's dress drive."
The Cinderella Project was founded in Baton Rouge in 2008. It has since collected about 15,000 dresses. Co-director Concetta King of Shreveport said the dress giveaway will be unlike other shopping experiences. Every girl will have a personal shopper, and the Boys and Girls Club will be set up like an exclusive boutique.
"Just for a young lady's self-esteem, just to boost her confidence, prom was an important thing," King said. "I was fortunate that my family was able to help me out with that, and I didn't have to worry and stress with money issues."
The dress giveaway is set for March 16. Prom dresses are being accepted at six locations in Shreveport, including several dress shops and YMCAs. The Cinderella Project is active in school districts in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and Monroe.