The singular teen rite of passage known as 'prom' has been celebrated in films ranging from 1986's Pretty in Pink to 2008's Twilight and beyond, inspiring decades of young girls' fantasies about finding just the right dress to dance the night away in.
To ensure those dreams become a reality, a new nonprofit called Operation PROM Brooklyn is launching an inaugural dress drive to collect gowns and cocktail dresses for those who can't purchase their own.
Operation PROM was founded in 2005 in Westchester, N.Y., by Nicole D'Allaco, who felt that interested students deserved an opportunity to celebrate their accomplishments with classmates, despite the rising costs of prom tickets, travel expenses and glitzy gowns. The 2013 dress drive will be the Brooklyn chapter's first.
"In order to receive a dress, students must be in good academic standing and receive an invitation from their school's guidance counselor, social worker, or teacher to attend the dress drive," said Shaniqua Schloss, co-director of Operation PROM Brooklyn.
On the day of the dress drive, girls will have the opportunity to try on dresses at the designated location and take one home with them.
So how can you help? Donate your formal wear at one of four locations around the borough now through March 31, including
- Evolution The Green Room Salon, 442 Atlantic Ave., Tue: 12 - 7 p.m.
- Buffalo Exchange, 109 Boerum Pl.; Mon-Sat: 11 a.m. - 7 p.m., Sun: 12 - 6 p.m.
- Heights Cleaners, 137 Montague St.; Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m.
- The Crown Heights Community Outreach Center, 467 Rutland Rd.; Mon - Fri: 3:30 - 6 p.m.
"We welcome donations of new and/or gently used formal dresses and/or gowns, particularly plus size, as well as shawls, evening bags, jewelry, accessories, and sample products for goodie bags," said Schloss. "Dress sizes 0-26 are needed."
Formal wear for fellas is welcome too.
"Although Operation Prom mostly caters to teen girls we also collect tuxedos for teen boys," she said, adding the Operation PROM has an existing partnership with the Men's Wearhouse, which will donate many free tux rentals.
Monetary donations can be donated through http://operationprom.org/donate.php