Philadelphia Police Helping Teens Find Perfect Prom Dress — For Free!

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Philadelphia Police Department wants to help girls in the community find their dream dress for this special occasion season. Officers Idalmi Carrasquillo and Roslyn Talley are leading the effort.

“I had these dresses in my closet and I wish, I told Roz, Officer Talley, I wish another girl could have it,” Carrasquillo said. “As soon as I said that, I would like to donate them, Roz was like, ‘We can do that, boom!'”

In just a matter of weeks, the two officers have managed to collect more than 200 dresses to distribute to girls still looking for their special occasion dream dress.

“I hope that we flood this place with girls because we’ve been flooded with dresses,” Talley said.

Community members, churches, even the School District of Philadelphia, have donated gowns. Many of the donations have come from within the police department.

Recruit Jasmine Upchurch donated several dresses, including one that was especially difficult to part with, her custom-made, 12th-grade prom dress.

“Just enjoy it, wear it, love it to the fullest because I’m going to miss it,” Upchurch advised the dress’ next owner.

Carrasquillo knows all about what a beautiful dress can mean to a teen girl.

“I’m going to be probably a little emotional. I remember being in 11th grade and not having a dress,” she said. “I let one of my friends know and she lent me hers, she came out of her sister’s wedding and she lent me her bridesmaid’s dress, which was amazing. It was royal blue. I still remember.”

“It’s going to look like a boutique in here on Saturday,” Talley said, adding that it’s just another way they’re trying to serve the community they protect.

“We’re not just there to arrest, we’re not just there to just take people in,” she said. “We’re there to find whatever the issue is in the community, that’s our job.”

The free dress giveaway event is Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Philadelphia Police Academy 2838 Woodhaven Road, Philadelphia, PA 19154.

There will be dresses available for girls ages 10 to 18 in all sizes. There will also be shoes in select sizes.

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