Clothing drive gives dresses and hope to girls in need
Alpha Phi Omega and Kappa Delta Pi will be holding their 3rd Annual Dress Drive on Sun. April 22.
This year, local middle school and high school girls from South Orange, Maplewood, Irvington and Newark are invited to shop for free prom dresses, shoes and accessories that are donated from Cache, Designer Loft, Just “B” and Fashion to Figure.
According to the president of APO, Lianne Messina, who has been running the dress drive for the past three years, said this year’s theme will be “Beauty is You.” The Jubilee Atrium will be decorated with butterflies and fun colors to go along with the theme.
“Since we are a service fraternity and education honors society, our goal is to offset the expensive cost of prom and give these girls an opportunity to find the perfect dress and feel beautiful,” Messina said. “In return, they also learn how important it is to help others.”
Messina said that the event started out small and expanded greatly.
“I am so proud of all the work that has gone into it this year and so excited for the event to be here already.”
According to Messina, the planning process started in late January with a committee of about 25 people. Over 100 brand new dresses have been donated and many local hair, nail and florist businesses have donated gift certificates as well.
“I was personally able to get 50 dresses from Cache corporate donated and they were so glad to do it.” Messina said.
Melissa Bonamici, an active brother in APO has been able to gather over 40 dresses for the drive as well.
“This will be my first dress drive and I’m going to be working as a personal shopper helping the girls choose their perfect dress,”Bonamici said.
In addition every girl who attends will leave with a goodie bag filled with makeup, nail polish, and perfume samples. There will be professional hair and make up artists coming to do demonstrations for the girls.
“We want to make it really special,” Messina said. “We will also have a DJ who will be playing music to liven up the environment and make this day fun for all those involved.”
Bonamici echoed Messina’s statement, adding that she is looking forward to seeing the reaction from the attendees.
“I think seeing their excitement and happiness as they enjoy this time getting ready for their prom will really be the greatest benefit for everyone,” Bonamici said. “I am so excited for it.”
The deadline for dress donations is Tuesday, April 17. Anyone wishing to contribute can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rawan Eewshah can be reached at email@example.com.