Prom night is an important occasion for many teens but it can also be a financial burden. The cost of a prom dress, plus extras (shoes, accessories, makeup & hair…) can really add up. That is why at Prom Fashion Guide we really love organizations like Operation PROM that provide assistance for teens and their families who are in financial need. Every teen deserves to look and feel great for prom!
We recently talked to Operation PROM founder Noel D’Allacco about the organization.
“We often have difficulty getting dresses that are plus size. Sizes 14 and up are needed and we have a hard time getting those sizes donated to us, or sometimes larger dresses look too mature for a 17 year old Prom-goer to wear.”
— Noel D’Allacco, Operation PROM founder
PROM FASHION GUIDE: Can you give a brief overview of Operation PROM. When was it founded? What is your goal?
Noel D’Allacco: Established in 2005, Operation PROM provides resources, opportunity and mentoring to students in need. Services are available to children in financial need, those who are homeless, sick, or disabled. School supplies and scholarships are available in addition to our regular donations of Prom dresses and tuxedos.
To date, Operation PROM has helped thousands of students across the U.S. attend their Prom at little or no cost. To request a free Prom dress or tuxedo, students must be recommended by their guidance counselor and meet the requirements such as a severe financial need, and the student should be passing all of their classes.
PFG: What are some of the challenges Operation PROM faces?
D’Allacco: We often have difficulty getting dresses that are plus size. Sizes 14 and up are needed and we have a hard time getting those sizes donated to us, or sometimes larger dresses look too mature for a 17 year old Prom-goer to wear.
PFG: The students must have fun picking out their dresses. What is that process like?
D’Allacco: The girls come to our dress giveaway events and are assigned a “Personal Shopper” who will help them go through racks & racks of hundreds of dresses. The girls get to try them on and pick the one they love for Prom. Best of all, it’s totally free!
PFG: What are your long term plans for Operation PROM?
D’Allacco: To continue to expand throughout the US, and help more students with things like scholarships and school supplies too.
PFG: How can people help?
D’Allacco: Donating dresses and monetary donations are greatly appreciated. We also need more volunteers, so anyone interested can find the chapter nearest to them at www.OperationPROM.org to volunteer.
Special thanks to Meaghan at the Long Island chapter of Operation PROM! Twitter:@operationpromli