Foundation teams up with community businesses to donate prom night essentials to Alto students

Foundation teams up with community businesses to donate prom night essentials to Alto students

ALTO, TX (KTRE) - A Jacksonville-based foundation has teamed up with businesses around East Texas to help offer students in Alto essential items for the school’s upcoming prom night.

The It’s Bigger than Us Foundation helped to provide young men and women everything they need for prom night by teaming up with local businesses to provide tuxedos, dresses, jewelry, and other essentials to make sure everyone looks their best for prom.

“We’re gonna get the ladies dresses, get their hair done, get their makeup done -- you know how women like to be pampered,” said Demarcus Sessions, representative with It’s Bigger than Us. “And with the fellas, pretty much get them a nice cut, a clean look, you know, spiff some.

“We want to show them you know, just because you’re having a bad time, you can still go out and enjoy yourselves; don’t let a hard time humble you,” Sessions added.

It’s Bigger than Us Foundation speaks to unity, Session explained, with the idea of bringing everyone together in one accord. In natural disaster situations like the one that happened in Alto and surrounding areas, Session said the foundation wants to inspire volunteers to give their time and resources.

“As I’m pulling up [to Alto] I see all these people, I see all these donations, I see people steady coming, steady coming,” Sessions explained. “So there’s definitely love in the community, and love from us. Again, it’s just something we’re trying to get everyone on the same accord so we can help build the city of Alto back up.”

Session said although it’s important to help rebuild the community, it’s almost important to give younger members of the community a break from an otherwise difficult situation.

“It’s humbling, you know? There’s no other word for it, it’s very humbling. You understand, people work their entire lives to build up homes; with homes come a lot of things, character and other things,” Sessions said. “So, when a lot of people lost their homes, a lot of people lost their hope. So, to know that we could make any kind of difference between adults and the kids, humbling is the only word to have for it to be honest with you.”

Several Alto High School students were outfitted with dresses and tuxedos ahead of their May 4 prom night, thanks in part to the It's Bigger than Us Foundation.
Several Alto High School students were outfitted with dresses and tuxedos ahead of their May 4 prom night, thanks in part to the It's Bigger than Us Foundation.

Prom night is May 4, and the foundation will be collecting donations up until May 2. The group is looking for volunteers who can do makeup and hair for the ladies, and barbers for the guys.

“We definitely have the public on deck. We’ve had a lot of assistance, as a matter of fact, we had too many people that wanted to help,” Sessions laughed. “But there’s never too many, so it’s always a blessing.”

If you have any other donations, such as dresses, tuxedos, shoes, jewelry, or other items, drop-off locations include the House of Sonshine and Wood & Bean in Chapel Hill, Daily Grace Effect in Tyler, or the Factory Connection in Jacksonville. You reach out to the It’s Bigger than Us Foundation by messaging Session’s Facebook page.

If you’d like to donate to the tornado victims as a whole, KTRE and KLTV have partnered with the East Texas Food Bank and the Red Cross to help those in need. Both agencies are responding to communities impacted by tornadoes and severe weather.

A donation of any amount could help provide food or shelter for our neighbors in need and help put them on the road to recovery.

To donate to the East Texas Food Bank by phone, call 903-597-3663 or 800-815-3663. To donate to the Red Cross by phone, call 1-800-HELP NOW (1-800-435-7669). ¿Habla español? Llama 1-800-435-7669.

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