Ah, homecoming—where the trend now is to have a mum corsage as big as the football being thrown around in the game. But for some students, getting the money together to buy a dress, suit, tickets, corsage, shoes and dinner is nearly impossible. Add that to the stress of finding a date, and you have a lot for any teenager to take on.
One Huntsville group is stepping in to help. Humans Optimizing Personal Empowerment, Inc. (HOPE) is holding a dress and suit drive at Straight to Ale brewery. HOPE, a fairly new nonprofit in Huntsville, is focusing on personal empowerment and charitable acts.
Tammara Buckey, current chair and treasurer of HOPE, got the idea to donate dresses to Jemison High School since it’s a new school with students having to buy a lot of new items. When a few of her friends joined in the movement, it snowballed into a city-wide formal clothing drive culminating in a boutique shopping experience in October.
Roughly 300 students expressed an interest in going to the homecoming dance, and Buckey hopes to provide outfits for all of them.
The event is semi-formal, meaning women’s dresses can range from cocktail to full formal. For men, semi-formal means dress shirts and pants, blazers and suits. And both of them will need accessories including shoes, ties, jewelry, purses and belts.
“If we are lacking in some areas, hopefully we will have monetary donations to fill in the gaps,” Buckey said.
Anything left over will be used for future events.
HOPE is also looking for related businesses to donate services—limo companies, nail and hair salons, florists, etc.
If you just want to donate that dress you only wore once on a cruise or that blazer that fit back when you were fit, there are several ways to get your gently-used clothes back in use.
- You can drop off items on September 23, at 7:30 p.m., at Straight to Ale. There will be live music, raffles and a bake sale.
- Beginning August 30, you can drop off donations at Jemison High School.
- You can also call (256) 384-4673 to schedule a pick up.
Or, if you want to donate but your formal wear consists of a powder blue suit and a puffy-sleeved dress with sequins, you can always just donate money on their website. Write in the comment section that it should be used for the homecoming clothing drive.