Operation Prom collection starts now
By Jessica Creagan
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- Aside from graduation, prom may be one of the most exciting and festive events of a graduating senior's year, but not all students can afford to participate in in the party.
Formalwear, such as suits, tuxedos, long and short dresses are all being collected by A Second Chance Thrift Store in Vero Beach for Operation Prom, IRC, a community outreach program to help outfit seniors who might not go to prom because they lack the funds for appropriate attire.
A senior prom should be a night of making memories and being with friends, not about stressing over cost so the donated formalwear will be given away at no cost to the students, organizers said.
"This is Vero Beach. We have lots of formal dresses and suits just sitting in our closets, I know we do," said Neda Heeter, Operation Prom, IRC coordinator.
"We are just asking people to open their closets and their hearts," she said.
Operation Prom, IRC is not a unique idea. Many communities and philanthropic groups band together to recycle formalwear for students in need, but in addition to collecting fancy dresses, Operation Prom, IRC will also be collecting appropriate prom attire for the male students, accessories and shows for both sexes and providing tailoring and alterations for the students, thanks to seamstresses and tailors donating their time, Ms. Heeter said.
"This is all volunteer work and donations," she said.
The clothes will be available to students from Indian River County.
Already Kim Thompson, manager of A Second Chance Thrift Store has set aside two racks of donated formalwear for Operation Prom, IRC.
The formalwear donated and collected will be displayed and ready for students' "shopping" experience on March 2 on a first-come, first-serve basis.
All sizes of gently-used dresses, long and short, suits, tuxes, jackets, slacks, shoes, ties, wraps and handbags are sought for the project.
Items may be dropped off at the thrift store during business hours and must be marked Operation Prom, IRC.
"This is a fantastic opportunity for us to give back to the community. I can't wait to see the smiles on their faces as they pick out their outfits," Ms. Johnson said in a press release.
By having the "shopping" event in March, it will give the seamstresses and tailors time to make any necessary alterations, Ms. Heeter said.
A Second Chance Thrift Store is operated by the Homeless Family Center in Vero Beach.
Operation Prom, IRC is sponsored by PNC Wealth Management.
A Second Chance Thrift Store is located at 490 Old Dixie Highway, Suite A, Vero Beach.
For more information, call (772) 492-9333, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.asecondchancevero.com.