Prom gown drive to benefit Camden high school students

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In collaboration with Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center, Osborn Family Health Center is sponsoring its annual prom gown drive. Community members are invited to donate clean, well-conditioned prom gowns or dressy cocktail-length dresses in all sizes that are then distributed to high school students in Camden. Prom accessories, including shoes, handbags and jewelry, are also welcomed.

“Every young woman should feel beautiful at her prom and our gown drive helps give young women that experience they deserve,” said Deborah Bokas, director of Social Services at Osborn Family Health Center. “Being able to recycle gowns is a good thing, but to give them to families who may not have the means to purchase a prom gown is all the better.”

As many as 450 gowns have been collected since the prom gown drive began, according to Diane Hines-Cooper, seamstress and former teacher at Dr. Charles E. Brimm Medical Arts High School.

“When parents bring their daughters to choose a gown, they can’t believe it’s free,” said Hines-Cooper. “Some parents are almost in tears. You can see the relief and appreciation in their faces. I always tell my students you don’t live until you learn to give, and this is a great example of how much it means when people can work together to make a difference in the community.”

Prom gowns and accessories can be donated through March 31 at Lourdes’ Osborn Family Health Center, 1601 Haddon Ave. (across the street from the hospital), Camden. Gowns can be dropped off at Osborn’s reception area from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. For more information, please contact Deborah Bokas at 856-757-3542.