Prom dress drive aims to help school for the deaf

Chandler Mallams, a junior deaf education major, said she had no idea what to do with all of the prom dresses she and her four sisters had accumulated over years, so she decided to give them away.

The university’s chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association is hosting a prom dress drive, said Mallams, who is also vice president of deaf habilitation for the organization. The dresses will be donated to the Texas School for the Deaf in Austin, she said. Students can wear the formal dresses at their prom, and the dresses that are not used for the prom can be used by the theater department, she said.

Mallams said she heard about the Texas School for the Deaf, which serves as both a learning environment and a home hearing impaired students, through her major.

The institution is a residential school for students ranging from infancy to 21, according to the Texas School for the Deaf’s Web site.

Lynn Flahive, advisor for NSSLHA, said the students involved in the organization are doing all of the work for the drive. They decide what activities to do each semester, and then the directors and officers divide up the work, she said.

Angela Spradlin, president of the university chapter of the National Student Speech Language Hearing Association, said Mallams presented the idea to the group last semester. The group decided to wait until right before winter break to start advertising for the drive so that students could rifle through their closets during the break, she said.

“We are not picky about the dresses at all,” Spradlin said. “We just ask that they are well taken care of.”

Prom dress drive
Deliver to: Miller Speech & Hearing Clinic
Deadline: Feb. 20 Tuesday
Additional information: [email protected]

The group decided to donate the dresses to the Texas School for the Deaf because the students who live there are from completely different socioeconomic backgrounds, Spradlin said.

“We want to make the formals for the students as memorable and as special as we can,” Spradlin said.

The National Student Speech Language Hearing Association has hosted toy drives and book drives, but this will be the group’s first prom dress drive. It’s an opportunity to do something different and focus a donation on one specific school, Mallams said.

Flahive said the drive is not only an opportunity to give back, but it is also a chance for students to clean out their closets.

The group had received seven dresses by Monday, but Mallams said she has contacted Fraternity and Sorority Life to get help spreading the word about NSSLHA’s effort.

Members of NSSLHA will drive to Austin next weekend to donate the dresses to the Texas School for the Deaf, Spradlin said.

Students can drop off their prom dresses at the Miller Speech and Hearing Clinic. The deadline is Feb. 20.