April 13, 2023 at 4:35 pm
With many local families struggling to keep up with the rising cost of living, FreeHelp CK is helping ease some of the financial burden by offering free formal attire to students celebrating milestones this spring.
This year’s selection will be more gender-inclusive than previous years. For its sixth annual giveaway, FreeHelp CK is once again giving away dresses, outfits and other accessories to suit the needs of any high school or eighth grader.
“We believe it’s important to give every child the opportunity to feel special and remove any barriers that might prevent them from attending graduation or prom,” said Tim Haskell of FreeHelp CK. “Kids shouldn’t have to worry about fitting in because of their financial situation. That’s why it’s important that we help meet their needs by providing them with nice clothes and help them fit in by giving them the same opportunity to feel good about themselves. “
Students can also pre-register for a special “Dress Up Day” on June 3, which includes hair and makeup appointments, followed by a photo shoot with professional photographer Michael Carter in the Retro Suites.
“Last year’s Dress Up Day, the young ladies were all beaming with confidence and smiling. It really made the event worth every second,” added Haskell.
The FreeHelp CK pop-up store is located in the Downtown Chatham Centre, opposite Tees and Sweats.
The program starts this Saturday from 11am to 2pm, and visitors can browse the shelves at the same time every Saturday throughout May.
For the 2022 prom season, FreeHelp CK said a total of 218 prom dresses were donated and 398 young people attended the event.
With the cost of living rising, the organization expects demand to be greater than ever.
If you have some frequently used dresses taking up space in your closet, FreeHelp CK is accepting donations including frequently used dresses, suits, dress pants, dress shirts as well as belts, ties, jewellery, handbags and shoes accessories.
Donations can be dropped off at the same downtown location.
Haskell said any student who received a skirt or suit through the program is welcome to keep it, but many of the garments will be donated back to the organization for next year’s prom season.
You can find more details about prom and gown giveaways on FreeHelp CK website and facebook page.