Partnership Makes Possible Prom Dress Giveaway

MEO News Release 

Maui Economic Opportunity Youth Services on Molokai, The Bella Project Hawaii and Mokulele Airlines are playing Cinderella by offering 75 prom dresses at no cost to Molokai youth, who normally have to travel off-island to purchase their formal wear.

The Oahu-based nonprofit collects donations of dresses, shoes, jewelry and accessories and gives them away to high schoolers. The Bella Project also partners with nonprofit organizations that work with low income, special needs, critically ill and military high schoolers.

Bella means beautiful in many languages; the goal is to create “Bellas of the Ball,” according to the Bella Hawaii program.

Mela Candelario, MEO Youth Services Program Specialist, had worked with The Bella Project in the past and reached out to them. On Nov. 27, the dresses were flown to Molokai by Mokulele Airlines.

“Not all families can afford the accumulated cost of getting a prom dress,” said Mela. “For our Molokai ohana, it’s not only the dress purchase but flight tickets, as well, to a neighbor island because we don’t have boutiques or formal dress shops on the island. Much mahalo to the Bella Project and Mokulele Airlines for making this all possible.”

MEO Youth Services is planning a giveaway of the dresses at no cost early next year at the MEO Molokai office, Mela said.


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