Mesa State students begin second prom dress drive

Alison Deshotels will measure the success of her club’s second annual prom dress drive by how much space she loses at her house.

The Mesa State College student will lead the Sociology Club’s collection of used prom dresses from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m today and Tuesday outside of the W.W. Campbell College Center. The dresses will be distributed to high school girls who otherwise couldn’t afford dresses for proms.

With one year of collecting dresses under their belts, Deshotels said it is an older and wiser group that has tweaked this year’s drive but is still facing some of the same challenges.

“We’re all students, and we all have crazy amounts of school and work to work around with this,” Deshotels said. “But our biggest problem is storage.”

Deshotels said to avoid the club having to pay for a storage space for the dresses, she will keep them at her house. Last year, about 120 dresses were donated from across the community, Deshotels said, so space might get tight.

The club handled the collection and distribution of the dresses last year, she said, but getting word to high school students and parents that the dresses were available lagged a bit.

“Some girls had already had dresses by the time we were distributing them,” she said.

This year, the club is working with the Teen Bistro at Tree House, which will handle communication with high school students and distribute the dresses, Deshotels said.

The club also has started its collection earlier this year to avoid “scrambling” in the spring when it’s time to distribute the dresses. But then,  “some people aren’t thinking about prom this early,” she said.

Deshotels said the club is looking for volunteers to collect not only prom dresses but also other donations. “We don’t have the resources to handle other donations” such as tuxedos and gift certificates, she said.

The club will also hold two more collections in the spring, Deshotels said.


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