PITTSBURG, Calif. (KTVU) - Two East Bay women joined forces to help underprivileged teen girls realize their dream of going to their prom.
They created East Bay Dress Day.
They say proms are an expensive event that many families can not afford.
Tamra Loomis of Pittsburg and Patricia Barreda-LoPaino have been collecting and giving away formal dresses to girls in need for the past five years.
They say what they're providing is more than a dress. At a donated storefront at a strip mall in Brentwood, two women are helping teens create memories that will last a lifetime.
"These dresses are anywhere from six to nine hundred dollars, that's a paycheck for some people," said Loomis.
New or gently used dresses donated by formal wear stores and individuals who want to help teens experience a rite of passage.
"She looks amazing. She feels amazing. That's all that matters," said Loomis.
The dresses are for girls who otherwise wouldn't be able to go to their prom or senior ball.
"I didn't think I was going to be able to afford the dress, the hair, the makeup," said Tatyanna Cruz of Brentwood.
The teen says she has four siblings so her parents couldn't afford to spend a lot of money for her to attend the senior ball.
But she says East Bay Dress Day made it possible by providing this dress.
"It was really exciting that I was going to be able to go. I didn't think I was going to be able to," said Tatyanna.
The group already has a thousand dresses ....but says it can always use more so the girls can have choices.
"I want them to come in and ...in their minds whatever they imagined... their dress is gonna be. When they get here, they see it," said Loomis.
The ladies say having the right dress can help girls build confidence.
"Maybe this one little dress ---it's a small token, but it could open up doors because of her outlook in life," said Barreda-LoPiano.
The group also provides accessories... all part of the experience.
"Their face...unbelievably priceless ...the happiness...they light up . They're going. They're going to have that memory," said Barreda-LoPiano.
"It's something you remember forever. It's like the last moment of before becoming an adult," said Loomis.
East Bay Dress Day will open up its store for girls in need this Saturday, February 20th.
Girls from anywhere in the Bay Area are welcomed.
This year, East Bay Dress Day will be offering shoes and hairdo's to go along with the whole experience thanks to donations from a shoe store and a salon.
Any girl that needs a dress or if someone wants to donate a dress should make an appointment.
For more information, email : firstname.lastname@example.org or message the group on facebook.