For the past seven years, one nonprofit has been making prom dreams come true for thousands of teenagers like Zyna Williams — an Atlanta high schooler who has cerebral palsy, CNN reports.
For Williams and her mother — a struggling single mom of three — the perfect prom seemed like an impossible fantasy.
But thanks to Operation Prom, a nonprofit that helps to provide dresses and tuxedos to high schoolers in need, Williams had no reason to miss out on her special night.
Founded in 2005 by Noel D’Allacco, Operation Prom collects dresses and other prom accoutrements like jewelry from retailers, companies and private donors.
Last year, Patch.com reports that the organization collected about 3,200 dresses and was able to arrange discounted tuxedo rentals, as well as free or discounted hair and makeup vouchers for students.
“With today’s economy, a lot of parents are not able to afford the whole prom experience,” Keren Charles, the director of the recently established Atlanta chapter of Operation Prom, told CNN.
In recent years, the organization has expanded to provide students in need — particularly those with disabilities or those living in shelters, group homes or very low-income households — with other resources such as school supplies, scholarships and mentoring.
D’Allaco said that she is proud of her organization for the joy it brings to thousands of teens.
“They are so appreciative, leaving with tears in their eyes, some girls have expressed that it was the first time they ever put on a dress in their life,” she told Patch.com.
For more information or to donate to Operation Prom, visit their websitehere.