BSU hosts clothing collection

By Lindsey Salvatelli

DeKALB — The Black Student Union is collecting formal dresses for underprivileged students throughout Black History Month for their inaugural Princess Tiana Project.

The project, headed by Andria Deberry, BSU community outreach director, and co-director James Buchanan, is a drive that gives donated, gently-worn formal gowns and accessories to high school students who are unable to afford prom dresses.

“One of our committee members, she mentioned the Glass Slipper Project … she wanted to do something very similar, and we had proposed that idea to our president, and her feedback was, ‘Well, maybe we could do a drive,’ ” Deberry said.

The Glass Slipper Project is a Chicago-based prom dress drive that pairs prom-goers with a personal shopper volunteer who assists the girls with finding a prom dress, shoes, makeup and accessories, according to the Glass Slipper Project webpage.

This is the first time the BSU has organized this type of drive.

“The main reason we’re doing this is because we know there’s a lot of people who can’t afford to go to prom, and that’s supposed to be one of the biggest moments in your high school journey,” Buchanan said. “I think it’s very easy for the guys to do the prom thing, but the ladies, they want that image of Cinderella — a princess — and all we’re trying to do [is] give them that.”

Buchanan said they will be inviting students from Huntley Middle School, Clint Rosette Middle School and Huntley High School.

Deberry said she will be formally inviting the schools sometime soon.

However, Deberry said that the project welcomes all local students and community members.

“I don’t want to limit it to just high school because there might be formal dresses that [attendees’] family members might like, or [their] friends [who are] even middle schoolers, so I definitely don’t want to keep it at just high schools,” Deberry said.

People who choose to donate have the option of arranging to meet with Deberry to drop off dresses or having them picked up, but Deberry said many of those who donated came to the campus to drop off.

Deberry said the targeted goal for the drive is to receive 15 dresses.

So far, BSU has collected 13 dresses, five of which are prom gowns, and two pairs of shoes.

“This is more of a test run,” Buchanan said. “Hopefully, this is something we can do annually, but we want to see kind of the kinks and work them out now. I want to see what we can do to make this better to push this to next year because I think this could be something great.”

Distribution day for the donated items will be held 12 to 3 p.m. March 4 at the in the Holmes Student Center, Glass Gallery Lounge.

Those who find a dress they like that fits are able to take the gown for free.

“Even if this drive doesn’t go as we expect and we’re only able to help one or two girls, that’s one or two girls more that [are] able to go, and I’m perfectly fine with that,” Buchanan said.

Lindsey Salvatelli is a staff writer. She can be reached at [email protected].