Feel Good News: Free Prom Dresses for Barnstable High School Students


Hope Taylor, a housemaster at Barnstable High School, puts on a free prom dress event every year for any student who wants a recycled dress rather than buying new. She is currently looking for donations of gently-used or new dresses. You can drop them off at BHS on West Main Street in Hyannis.

Every weekday, at 7:20 a.m., I do a Feel Good News story as part of Feel Good Mornings, which I host alongside Ralphie Marino. When we started Feel Good Mornings at the start of 2019, I thought it was important to highlight good things that happen. I believe that there are good people all around us, quietly working behind the scenes, doing things for others, and we never hear about it. But we want to put a spotlight on these people to help their cause or just to remind everyone listening that kindness still exists.

Last weekend, Hope Taylor posted on a local public Facebook group asking for donations of evening gowns, prom dresses, and bridesmaid dress for students at Barnstable High School. I am naturally curious (I think my mom called it nosey), so I had to know more!

Hope will be putting on a prom dress giveaway event on March 21. They’ve been doing this for a few years at Barnstable High School. Any student is allowed to come and get a dress, and no one is asked about their financial situation. As Hope said, “If you want a dress, come get a dress.”

She started this drive because she realized how expensive senior year can be. “We were seeing students having trouble paying for a cap and gown for graduation,” said Hope. “When you have to pay for a yearbook, graduation, prom, trips, etc., it all adds up.”

Especially when it came to prom, she added. “Some girls are paying up to $500 on a dress,” said Hope. “It can become a case of keeping up with the Joneses. And many people can’t spend that much on a dress.”

The event has now grown to 300 dresses! If they don’t want to keep the dress, Hope asks them to donate it back. Next year, another girl might want to wear it. Plus, anything that’s been passed over for a couple years gets donated to the fashion and drama departments.

Hope said it’s amazing to watch the excitement and creativity at the event. “I’ve seen a student take three dresses and turn them into something totally different,” said Hope. “So don’t worry if you think your dress is too old-fashioned. They will take the material, the buttons, parts of the dress, and use them.

“There have been times when a student has come to the event with a friend and wasn’t planning to go to prom, but found something they liked and then got excited. They realized they could go and have a great time too!”

If you have any (formalwear, or any) dresses in your closet that are taking up space, please consider donating them to Barnstable High School. Just bring them to the main office of the high school on West Main Street in Hyannis.

And, if you know of a Feel Good News story – a story about people helping people or the kindness of a stranger – let me know. E-mail me at Rebecca@999theQ.com.

About Rebecca Romo

Rebecca Romo hosts Feel Good Mornings weekday mornings from 6-10 am on 99.9 The Q. Originally from New Orleans, she moved to Cape to be with her husband a second generation Cape Codder.

737 West Main Street
Hyannis, MA 02601
Contact Us | Advertise Terms of Use 
Employment and EEO | Privacy