The Houston Independent School District’s Homeless Education Office is calling for donations of new or gently used formalwear through April 3, 2018 to help homeless, displaced, at-risk and disadvantaged high school students attend prom looking their best.
“The aftermath of Hurricane Harvey has dramatically increased the number of students we’ve identified as homeless this year – over 28,000 districtwide – and of course, some of those students are seniors,” HISD Homeless Education Office Outreach Worker Ilka Rosado said. “Their families are having economic hardships and are probably not thinking prom is even going to be possible this year because of the adversities their families are facing. We want them to know that this project is for them. We don’t want them to worry about how they are going to get their tuxedo or their prom dress.”
The third-annual Project Prom event will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, April 7, 2018, at Pin Oak Middle School (4601 Glenmont St., Bellaire, TX).
Mayor Sylvester Turner will be providing brief remarks. HISD Board Trustee Wanda Adams, who has actively collected donations of formal attire to benefit Project Prom, will be in attendance to help students select their garments.
“Thanks to the generosity of our community, we collected more than 800 dresses at a prom dress drive I hosted with Carla’s Closet and This Woman’s Work earlier this month,” Trustee Adams said. “We’re thankful for the people from all over Houston who donated to that drive, and who have dropped donations off at the various sites. This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as meeting the needs of these students. I’m excited about the work the district and the community are doing together to help give students the prom experience they deserve.”
Students will be able to select formal attire – at no cost to them – from a wide selection that includes more than 3,000 dresses, shoes and accessories, while young men will receive a voucher for a free tuxedo and shoe rental from Majestic Tuxedos. Free haircut vouchers will be offered. Project Prom will also feature various motivational speakers, college and career resources, and health services like referrals for free meningitis vaccines which are required for college-bound students.
HISD students who wish to attend or would like to request free transportation from their school should register on their campus or contact the Homeless Education Office at 713-556-7237. However, no students will be turned away if they do not pre-register. Breakfast and lunch will be provided to all attendees.
Items being sought for donation include:
- formal dresses (new or gently used, short or long, and dry-cleaned)
- jewelry appropriate for a special event
- ladies’ formal shoes
- formal handbags
- men’s dress shoes
- men’s dress shirts
- gift cards for personal items ($25 to Walgreen’s CVS, Walmart)
“If you are someone who wants to help, but may not have any formal wear to donate, you can donate a gift card so students can purchase personal items or, so they can go to dinner at a restaurant on the day of their prom,” Rosado said.
Donations can be dropped off through Tuesday, April 3 at three locations:
Hattie Mae White Education Support Center, Room 3SW11
4400 West 18th St., Houston, TX 77092
HISD Homeless Education Office
Peck Elementary School
5001 Martin Luther King Blvd.,
Houston, TX 77021
Pin Oak Middle School
4601 Glenmont St.,
Bellaire, TX 77401