LANSING, Mich. — The non-profit organization Ever After Opportunities in the Lansing Mall has made it their mission to give away prom dresses. Their next prom dress giveaway on Sunday, April 10, from 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“Say ‘Yes’ to the dress,” said Star Bolden-Peterson, the owner of Ever After Opportunities. “It makes me so happy to help young people, especially being a woman myself. I went through prom and different things like that, and it was very expensive for myself and my parent.”
Bolden-Peterson said she would have liked to have an opportunity like this during her teenage years. Girls ages 12 to 18 can come in on Sunday to pick out their complete look, consisting of a dress, shoes, and accessories.
“I was really excited to have that dress because I knew it was going to be expensive for my mom if I had to ask her because I’m a dancer, too,” said Kirah Clay, a 17-year-old high school student. “Homecoming is going to be very expensive, too, so I was excited to find a dress that I would like to actually were and it would be free.”
On other days, Ever After Opportunities offers free tutoring, cooking, crochet, and hairstyling classes. Clay said she enjoys the crochet class and likes to volunteer at dress giveaways.
Tutoring classes are Mondays and Tuesdays between 5:30 and 7 p.m. at the store in the Lansing Mall. Cooking classes are on the last Saturday of each month from 6-8 p.m. and they are held at the Epicenter of Worship Church in Lansing. To sign up for classes or ask questions Bolden-Peterson can be contacted at (517) 894-3733.
“We offer everything that is helping the youth to get into the real world,” Bolden said. According to Bolden-Peterson, cooking and tutoring classes are for boys, too.
She is hoping they can expand and offer suits and shoes for boys as well. She said Ever After Opportunities depends on donations from the community.
“Some of the dresses are used and some of them are brand new, but all of them are donated through the community,” Bolden-Peterson said. “Anyone can donate a formal dress or even business suits for the young ladies. When they finish these classes they can get a startup business suit to go to interviews and feel confident in their looks.” The hairstyling class teaches formal hairstyles for interviews or formal events.
Bolden-Peterson said they are hoping for monetary donations to continue to be able to pay rent, and volunteers to keep the effort going.
“A lot of young people come in and we just want to be able to serve all of them and make them feel comfortable,” Bolden-Peterson said. “Some of them come to us where they want us to help them pick out a dress and help with sizing. So, if we have multiple people helping with that, it will make the transition easier and help them get what they need.”
Bolden-Peterson said, there is no financial cap or limitation on who can get a dress. If anyone cannot make it to the dress giveaway, appointments to “shop” can be set up with Bolden at (517) 894-3733. Donations can be made through the organization’s website or on their Facebook page.
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