Avenue of Dreams: Prom dress, tuxedo, and accessory drive

Delta Phi Lambda Sorority (DPhiL) is hosting their first prom dress, tuxedo, and accessory drive this semester on behalf of Avenue of Dreams. Avenue of Dreams is an annual event run by the Connecticut Alliance of Foster and Adoptive Families (CAFAF) to collect and donate prom dresses, shoes, makeup, tuxedos, ties and accessories to around 150 foster and adopted teens.

On Tuesday Nov. 28 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., DPhiL will be collecting donations on the second floor of the Student Union in Room 204. There will also be a donation box in the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life (OFSL) Community Room from now until Dec. 8.

This drive is especially important because Avenue of Dreams doesn’t just collect donations; CAFAF is also organizing confidence-raising motivational workshops for the youth to attend when they arrive to receive their prom attire and accessory bags.

Angela Villella, DPhiL president, was excited when she was first approached about the drive by Catherine Rose, the Outreach Coordinator for CAFAF.

“I thought it would be a really empowering opportunity for my chapter to get involved with something to help the local community,” Villella said.

Although the UConn Chapter of DPhiL was only chartered in spring 2016, the sorority is eager to take on new causes and projects.

“Delta Phi Lambda’s vision is to develop women into dedicated female leaders and by supporting organizations like CAFAF, we can extend this outside of the sorority and into the community,” Villella said. “In a sense we are ‘paying it forward’ to make a foster or adoptive child’s dreams into something that can actually happen.”

Villella was especially drawn to the creativity behind this prom drive.

“Prom is one of those events that usually occurs once or twice in a person’s life, where they spend exorbitant amounts on dresses, tuxedos and accessories and don't have other opportunities to even wear what they buy,” Villella said. “A lot of people don't think back to their formal/prom dresses or tuxedos that have been sitting in their closets with no use. This drive gives people the opportunity to pass on their apparel to help make a teenager’s prom dreams into a reality.”

However, giving back is not necessarily the easiest task. Organizing an event on a large campus can be a challenge. DPhiL has set up a Facebook page, posted flyers and created announcements for the Daily Digest. Collecting prom-wear presents an additional difficulty.

“Most people don’t come to campus with their prom attire. so as we are getting ready to go home and spend time with our families for Thanksgiving break, our sisters are really encouraging people to ask family members and loved ones for donations as well as making sure people come back to campus with any donations” Villella said.

As you head back home to enjoy a week off, don’t forget to pack your prom dress or tux for your trip back to campus.

For a full list of donatable items, make sure to check out the UConn Delta Phi Lambda Avenue of Dreams Facebook page or Daily Digest post.


Veronica Eskander is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at veronica.eskander@uconn.edu.