NORTHBROOK, Ill. — Zengeler Cleaners is collecting dresses to be donated to the Glass Slipper Project (GSP), the firm notes.
The annual collection drive culminates with two Saturday shopping opportunities, tentatively scheduled this year on March 30 and April 6 at a location in Chicago. Also Zengeler notes on its website it collects Glass Slipper prom dress donations all year.
GSP is a volunteer organization that provides an opportunity for Northern Illinois area high school women to experience their senior prom. Zengeler Cleaners’ eight locations will serve as a drop-off points for donations as part of its 17th year partnering with GSP.
The expense of attending prom can put that event out of reach for many high school students, the cleaners writes. The cost of a dress, shoes and accessories alone can easily exceed several hundred dollars, it adds.
“Since 1999,” the cleaners says, “GSP has helped tens of thousands of area high school women who couldn’t otherwise afford those expenses enjoy their prom, made possible by the donations of lovingly-worn dresses and accessories from other Chicagoland high school students.”
Additionally, donations received from other local organizations, businesses and even generous Zengeler customers have helped GSP expand the number of students they can assist with this worthy cause, it notes.
“The Glass Slipper Project is Zengeler Cleaners’ largest community outreach program and it’s also one of our favorite times of the year,” says Tom Zengeler, president of Zengeler Cleaners, which he describes as the midwest’s oldest and largest cleaners.
“Our goal is to collect at least 3,000 dresses every year and we’ve surpassed our goal every year for the past 10 years,” Zengeler points out.
“Thanks to the continued support of area businesses, local schools and our customers, we’re confident we’ll exceed that number again in 2019,” he notes.
While partnering with local schools generates most donations, Zengeler Cleaners’ customers also contribute to the cause.
In fact, the cleaners relates, “Some dresses are purchased and donated directly to the collection drive without ever being worn — some even with the price tags still on them!
“The combination of 6,342 dresses and hundreds of accessories, shoes and jewelry collected in 2018 had an estimated value in excess of $4.2 million, bringing the total number of dresses collected by the Zengeler team to an astonishing 56,752.”
The items are distributed free of charge to high school seniors at Glass Slipper “boutiques,” where each student receives individual assistance from a volunteer “personal shopper,” allowing each student plenty of time to “shop” for their perfect dress and accessories.