We recently had a chance to catch up with Noel D’Allacco, the founder of Operation Prom. This non-profit has been dressing girls for Prom for 7 years! Local giveaway dates are coming soon so be sure to check out their website: www.HelpPROM.org
. When was your organization started and by whom?
I personally started Operation PROM in 2005. I was an event planner at the time, working with bridal parties who had no idea what to do with their dresses after the wedding. I thought that my former high school could benefit from some dresses. When I brought the dresses (just 10!) the young ladies were thrilled! One of them was a homeless high school senior who never thought she would be able to go to Prom. I was inspired to continue this project, and started this organization to serve teens in need — and those passing all their classes!
· What is your mission?
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.
· How many girls typically receive dresses at an event?
Hundreds of girls (and boys) attend our events each year. In 2011, we distributed 3,200 dresses in New York. We also have chapters in New Jersey, Georgia, and Louisiana.
· What is the most inspiring story you remember encountering at a give away?
Our chapters all having amazing stories, from providing dresses to girls who were affected by Hurricane Katrina, to our NY Chapter giving terminally ill children their own hospital Prom. Hearing things like, “I never had a dress before”, and seeing tears of joy, keep us motivated to help make dreams come true.