Jeff wife collects prom dresses for those who have no money | News

JEFFERSONVILLE — Maisie Peterson never made it to the ball.

Her family never had the money for a dress or anything else that comes with the big night.

That’s why she sprang into action when she saw posts on Facebook a few weeks ago asking if anyone knew where to find a cheap or even free prom dress.

“I decided to see who all I could get to donate their prom dresses,” she said. “…in the space of about three weeks, it kind of exploded.”

She tells the story from the family room of her Jeffersonville home, joined by her son, CJ, and mother, Donna Snelling. Snelling folds and prepares over 200 dresses, ensuring they are labeled to size and wrinkle free.

At first glance, the room is set up like a prom dress boutique.

This weekend, it will. Saturday and Sunday from noon to 7 p.m., anyone in need of a prom dress can shop there.

Peterson calls it “A Night to Shimmer”. Last weekend, after donning prom dresses between two trees in her front yard, she said more than 40 people came to her home at 2004 Hall Lane in Jeffersonville to get a dress.

Every dress, from sequin ball gowns to traditional silk dresses, is free.

“One of the most expensive (dresses) I’ve seen, a girl spent $1,200. Everyone just doesn’t have that kind of money right now,” she said. “The food is increasing, an insane amount…and I just thought that would be a way to help relieve stress not only for the kids at school, but also for their parents.”

Peterson hopes to get used shoes, jewelry and even tuxedo items to add to the collection.

“It can also be an expensive part of going to prom,” she said. “And that way they can worry about going out to eat if they want or taking pictures before.”

The neatly packed dresses in the bins also include sizing, from size zero to size 26. That’s important to Peterson because she said everyone should be able to go to prom.

“I had one (recipient) quite emotional because I had a dress in her size and apparently it was hard to find,” she said. “A lot of places that donate only have sizes up to 8, 9 or 10. It was a size 20 and it fit her very well. She loved it.

Snelling is proud of her daughter for caring for the people of southern Indiana.

“It really makes me feel good. I wish there was something like that when she went to prom and all that,” she said. “Because I couldn’t afford to buy her a prom dress or anything.”

Anyone in need of a formal dress or who wants to donate can contact Peterson at 812-914-1890.

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