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Why Virginia woman is collecting prom dresses for teens: 'It's like playing dress up'

Curl: 'As an elder, that's our responsibility to take care of the younger generation'
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Posted at 10:08 AM, May 21, 2023

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — Prom is a night to remember for a lot of students, and one Newport News woman wants to make it unforgettable for everyone, especially, for those who can't afford all of the prom expenses.

"I want them to get the experience of personal shopping and just having fun with it, it's like playing dress up. Every little girl likes to play dress up," said Terry Curl.

Sequin, lace, ruffles, no matter the style, Terry Curl has it all.

"We have necklaces, we have sets, rings, we have earrings, and a lot of different options for shoes," said Curl.

It's certainly a big selection to make prom dreams come true, and her collection started through a social media post.

"I went on Nextdoor and I was like, 'Hey, I'm collecting prom dresses and as you can see the outpour was amazing," said Curl.

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Curl got the idea just before the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

When volunteering at a high school, she said many kids told her they weren't going to prom.

"I was talking to a young lady about prom and I asked her, 'Are you going to prom this year?' She told me, no. I asked her why, and she said, 'My mom can't afford a dress. She's working two jobs," said Curl.

Curl said she started collecting dresses only 3 weeks ago, and nearly 30 have already been donated.

"As an elder, that's our responsibility to take care of the younger generation," said Curl.

Curl even turned her office into a dressing room.

"They get to come in here and close the curtains, and they have a big mirror where they can get dressed and see themselves in the mirror," said Curl.

Curl has plans to expand even more in the future.

She hopes to add men's items and dresses for other events, such as homecoming.

To donate a dress, or pick one up, click here for more information.

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