August 18, 2019 | 81° F

Donating used prom dresses is about more than school dances

Start looking through your closets, because the Godmother is back this year and needs your dresses. For the last three years, Our Fairy Godmother has provided numerous financially struggling girls the opportunity to attend the prom by collecting gently used gowns and selling them at affordable prices. The average price of a prom dress can run up to $170, but girls can find high quality dresses for just $20 at Our Fairy Godmother events set to begin this month.

Jinhee Lee, a junior in the School of Arts and Sciences, founded Our Fairy Godmother in 2012 as a senior in high school after experiencing firsthand the financial hurdles that presented themselves to attend the prom.

“I just don’t think it’s fair that a girl can’t go to prom because she can’t afford it,” Lee said.

Aside from driving across New Jersey in her mini-cooper to pick up dresses — she once stopped at 27 different houses in a single trip — Lee can be found waitressing at Edo on Easton Avenue and interning at the Rutgers Foundation. With so much on her plate, she could use some help.

“If everyone took 5 seconds to share the cause on Facebook, at least 1 person out of 100 is bound to donate, and that makes a huge impact,” Lee said.

Spread the word. Ask your friends, and families. Share it on social media with the hashtag #OurFairyGodmother2015. You don’t have to be a girl to join in. If the movement seems excessive for one night out at prom, listen to what Lee has to say.

"It's about more than prom. If you can't afford a dress, there's much more you miss out on due to financial situations. I've been there. I'm dedicated to giving these girls an opportunity to miss out on one less event. So I hope these girls can come to the event, buy a dress, look like their beautiful selves and dance the night away.”

It’s true. The dress drive impacts more than just prom –– proceeds raised from dress sales go to charity. Last year, Lee collected a whopping 582 dresses with the aid of her biggest contributor Phi Delta Chi, who gathered over 140 dresses and earned the privilege to donate the proceeds of $1,300 to the Embrace Kids Foundation. Talk about making a difference. The offer still stands: the organization that collects the most dresses will receive all of the profit to donate to a charity of their choosing. As for anyone else interested in donating or volunteering, contact Jinhee Lee at

Steven Senko is a senior majoring in marketing in the Rutgers Business School. 

Steven Senko

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