Charity takes the financial stress out of prom night

For teenage girls, the word "prom" often calls to mind images of a beautiful dress, sparkling shoes and dancing with a cute boy. For parents, "prom" often conjures up another word: "money."

Families who are struggling financially can get help with prom night from the  Glass Slipper Project, a nonprofit started 10 years ago by a group of Chicago women. The charity takes donations of dresses and other prom accessories then gives them to up to 2,100 girls who can't afford their own.

"I'm a little concerned this year that parents are making some difficult decisions between putting food on the table and keeping the lights on," Glass Slipper board member Dorian Carter says. "I don't want them to say 'no' to prom because they couldn't afford a dress."

Girls can pick up their dresses at Vernon Johns School, 6936 S. Hermitage in Chicago, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on three Saturdays: April 18, April 25 and May 2. Volunteers will serve as personal shoppers to help the girls select their perfect outfits, and supplies go out on a first-come, first-served basis.