In the basement of a London, Ont. public school, a room full of glittering dresses and sharp dress shirts is growing.
The room at Trafalgar Public School is the hub of a donation drive. It is designed to give grade eight students in five east-end schools free access to formal wear for prom.
Trafalgar, Ealing, Aberdeen, CC Carrothers and Princess Elizabeth Public Schools have been identified as locations where many families feel economic pressure.
Trafalgar Public School Principal Cheryl Smith hopes the collection will help those who might struggle to pay for formal wear.
“We just feel that those schools are in need, especially as we all recover from COVID,” she says.
For the past two years, COVID-19 has dramatically altered or outright canceled graduation and prom ceremonies in the region.
This is another reason why Smith and her team of volunteers want to ensure students at the five schools have an opportunity to dress up.
The clothing drive continues from 9 am until 12 pm next Saturday at Trafalgar Public School.
Smith prefers donors arrive during those hours but says it is possible to drop items off at the school during the week.
As to what’s needed, she says anything formal which could fit a grade eight student.
“We are collecting any formal wear, dresses, dress pants, suits. And we are off to a great start, but we are still in need of collecting those items, ”she says.