BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) —  For many high school students, going to prom can be one of the highlights of the year. It can also be big pressure to find an affordable dress.

For six years, Battle Creek nonprofit Charitable Union has been helping students make those memories without the worry of added costs by providing free prom dresses.

“This is the sixth year we will offer free prom dresses to students,” said Charitable Union CEO Teresa Allen. “We have a large selection of dresses available and hope that no student will miss prom because of the cost of a dress. However, as we have looked through our inventory, we discovered that we are limited on several sizes 0-28.”

Last year alone, 300 prom dresses were given away.

“We have opened up our program, so we serve anyone from any location. Any income bracket can come in and get a free prom dress from us. We take in donations, and we get a lot of formal wear, and it just got to the point where we had to figure out how to get rid of it and how to create a prom dress program,” said Allen.

She said the first year the nonprofit did the program, it was a one day event. But she said that wasn’t the best way to serve the community.

“That doesn’t meet everyone’s needs, especially kids who are maybe in sports or in band and they have a concert that day. It wasn’t completely available to everyone. So we’ve opened it up to say it’ll be part of our free store work, where families come in and shop, Monday through Wednesday, and now the kids can come in with their school ID and they can shop for the prom dresses,” said Allen.

If you would like to support Charitable Union’s Prom Dress initiative, donations are taken Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Charitable Union is located at 85 Calhoun Street in Battle Creek. The free store is open Monday through Wednesday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. It is also open on the second Saturday of the month from 9 a.m. to noon.

People needing assistance should bring their Bridge, WIC, or Medicaid card with them, along with a photo ID showing their residence in Calhoun County. For more information, contact Charitable Union at 269-964-7234 or its website.