The following was submitted by LEAP Director Henry Fernandez.
In LEAP’s 25 years working with teens, we have learned that they really look forward to prom. We also know that not every teen can afford the costs of a dress or suit, haircut and tickets; especially if they are also saving money for college.
So last year we started a new annual tradition – LEAP’s Prom Drive. It is a great way for you to do something awesome for New Haven teens while creating a little more closet space for yourself. For the next three weeks, LEAP’s Prom Drive is accepting lightly used prom clothing that we will make available for free to New Haven public high school students. You can donate dresses, tuxedos, suits, shoes and accessories. It does not have to be a prom dress or tuxedo—bridesmaid dresses, cocktail dresses and business suits work just as well.
You can drop off clothing at the LEAP Community Center at 31 Jefferson St. in New Haven. We are the large red brick building located on Jefferson between Lyon Street and Grand Avenue. We are willing to pick up donations if necessary but drop off is greatly appreciated.
We are also asking for businesses to help out. Already, a few barber shops, beauty salons and nail salons have donated their services.
You can also make a small monetary donation—$10, $20, $50, $100 or any amount—to help cover costs for a tailor to make alterations (which most dresses will need). Donations to LEAP are tax deductible. Just let us know that your donation is for the prom drive by including a note.
Please join us in making prom a night to remember for even more New Haven teens. From April 17 to April 21, we will set up appointments for teens to look through donations confidentially with us to find clothing that fits. Teens do not need to be in LEAP to receive clothing through the LEAP Prom Drive. They should just give a call to LEAP at (203) 773-0770 to set up an appointment.
If you have a question, need to arrange a pickup, or have a business and want to contribute, please let us know by contacting Yakeita Robinson or Shyrelle Spears at LEAP at (203) 773-0770 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com so we can work out any details.
You can get more information about LEAP’s Prom Drive at leapforkids.org/prom.