Enchanted Closet Fulfills Prom Dreams, Helps Metro Atlanta Girls Achieve Success

With prom season under way, it is hard not to notice the ballgowns and glitter dresses stocking the racks as young girls begin the quest for the perfect dress. But, not all girls get to experience the magic of prom if they come from low-income families.

Starting its ninth year of the Prom Dress Giveaway, The Enchanted Closet hosted its first dress drive on Jan. 15 at The Colors of Wine in Vinings. “Prom is the one event that people think about, whether they went or not so we wanted to make some prom dreams come true,” said Bonita Jackson, president and CEO of The Enchanted Closet.

The organization sets up a boutique where the girls go shopping for their perfect dress. Currently, they setup three boutiques around the city on MARTA bus line to service those families without a car. The girls come in for dress shopping. As the organization and demand for dresses has grown, professionals such as makeup artists and hair stylists have volunteered their services to make the girls feel truly special.

The demand for dresses has gone up significantly since the recession hit -- The Enchanted Closet gave out 500 dresses in 2010 alone. “We are definitely seeing an increase in requests for dresses, but what we also need are more plus-size dresses to outfit all the girls that we reach out to,” said Jacquelyn Petty, publicist for The Enchanted Closet.

Dress drives are being planned around the city, but along with dress donations, the organization looks to volunteers to share their time, stories, and experiences to build the girls’ self-esteems, self-awareness, and societal responsibility.

“Our bigger mission is to to teach them not to be hindered by obstacles that they may face or have faced,” Jackson said in regards to the GIRL$ Program that serves metro Atlanta girls ages 12-19. The program serves as a mentor program, teaches social entrepreneurship, and how to make good decisions for a successful life.