Prom can be VERY expensive. Add up the dress, the shoes, the accessories, hair and makeup, transportation, and the ticket to attend, and you easily have yourself a grand evening that can cost more than a grand. For some, it’s just not financially possible. A 15-year-old sophomore at Mount St. Charles Academy in Woonsocket realized that she could help alleviate some of the cost so students in foster care can enjoy their special night.

Ava Sangiovanni told WPRI that she and her sister “never have to worry about getting a dress, or having the perfect accessories for the dress, or being able to go to prom, and I think that sometimes me or some other people could take that for granted.”

She knew that her prom dresses have only been worn once and that she will never wear them again. Instead of simply hanging in the closet collecting dust, she knew she could give them a second life for someone else who may need them more than her. “Sangiovanni started a dress donation drive, collecting gowns for fellow students in foster care who can’t afford to buy one.”

She started her dress collection in February. In one month, she’s collected HUNDREDS of dresses, shoes, accessories, and even some jackets for the gentlemen attending prom. The Pawtucket Ocean State Job Lot is serving as a storefront for kids in foster care to shop for the perfect formal attire. “It was all about creating a little bit more of a normalcy factor to make them not ‘the foster kid’ but just another beautiful girl or guy on prom,” Sangiovanni said.

Dress distribution is at 50 Ann Mary Street, Pawtucket on April 16-20 and May 14-18 from 1 to 7 p.m. Click HERE to learn more about Foster Forward (the organization that helped Sangiovanni put on the drive), or call 401- 438-3900.