With the help of For The Seventh Generation, going to Prom become a reality.
– Deline Echols, A Place of Refuge
Most kids in our area don’t really have to worry about being able to go to Prom; sadly, though, that’s not the case for southeast Michigan teens in foster care. For them, Prom is just another expense that isn’t in the budget. That’s why we held the first of what we hope will be an annual For The Seventh Generation Help Closet event: Prom Palooza. Thankfully, the community joined in — and together we made Prom possible for several southeast Michigan foster kids who otherwise wouldn’t have been able to go.
PromPaloosa was Deline Echols’ first experience with For The Seventh Generation. Deline, who works for A Place of Refuge, a Southfield organization that serves young people who are aging out of the foster care system, didn’t think she’d be able to find appropriate Prom clothing for a young man in her agency’s care.
But thanks to Valente’s Men’s Formal Wear in Grosse Pointe, he wasn’t just able to dress well – he went to his prom in a custom-fitted tux.
Deline says the young man had a great time at Valente’s.
“This was his first time being fitted and wearing a tuxedo,” she tells us. “He felt like a king because this was something he had never experienced before. He really enjoyed the opportunity to have something that was tailored to his style and body. He says the staff were very polite when assisting him. When he received his tuxedo he had the biggest smile and could not wait to get dressed!”
Later, at his prom, “…he felt like he was on top of the world. This was his first big event all dressed up besides going to church. He really enjoyed himself; he danced and ate the night away!”
“Going to prom meant the world to him,” Deline says. “At first we were not sure if he would have the opportunity to even participate in Prom because funds were very limited. With the help of For The Seventh Generation, going to Prom become a reality.”
Young men weren’t the only area foster kids we were able to help get to Prom. One young woman, Danielle, says that going to our Help Closet and picking out her prom dress “…made me feel special … we could look at all the stuff and pick whatever we liked; they even let me get clothing to use for job interviews.”
Another young lady, Seaince, says, “I was stressed out about my prom dress and how I was going to pay for it. This was the best experience for me! — I [had] a dress and it look[ed] great on me!!”
We couldn’t have done it without you – many, many thanks to our PromPalooza donors!
The Grosse Pointe Valente’s wasn’t alone in helping us make Prom come true for our area’s foster children. One donor alone, WBHK 98.7 KISS FM, provided 150 prom dresses! Sam Michael’s Menswear in Farmington Hills came through for a young man in need of a tux, and Cafana Cleaners in Detroit has donated sturdy plastic storage bags for our leftover prom dresses so they will be fresh for next year. Melissa Covell of Foster Care Navigators and Countrywood Florist in Romulus also stepped up to help our young people get to Prom.
Can You Help a Young Person in Foster Care? For The Seventh Generation Needs You!
Prom Palooza is over for this year, but our area’s foster children, foster families, and young people aging out of foster care still have needs: everything from orthodontic care to tickets to sporting events, and music lessons to mentors. In other words, all of the “extras” that help children and teenagers thrive.
If you have gently-used/new items to donate or are a professional with expertise you’d like to volunteer, please click here to register with us so we can match you/your donation with a foster child in need.
If you’d like to make a monetary donation, please click here.
All it takes is one gift, one child, one year – and you will have affected our community down through the Seventh Generation.