The TDF Costume Collection celebrates the giving spirit of the holidays each year by turning over colorful guises to a raft of youngsters from Positive Caring Services, along with their foster mothers, for the annual "Three Kings" party. Each year during the post-Christmas holiday of Epiphany, as many as 100 children with AIDS and other special needs try on specially selected costumes befitting their party's Magi theme.
"It's really their favorite day of the year," says Elsie Rodriguez, a volunteer at St. Vincent's Services for Children, who organizes the annual party. At this past year's party, held in January, a photographer donated his services to take posed pictures of the attendees in costume.
Pictured along with the children in many of the photos are their foster parents, with whom they are placed by Positive Caring Services. This groundbreaking program, founded by Sister Elizabeth Mullaney two decades ago to minister to the needs of children afftected by AIDS, stays in touch with its patients--even after they're able to leave the hospital.
"Once they get adopted by foster mothers," Rodriguez says, "they move out of the program. But they call each year to make sure they're invited to the party!"
Amy Svoboda, associate director of the Costume Collection, says that the "Three Kings" event, which has been going on for 12 years, was the first cause to which TDF donated its costume services. The Costume Collection even goes one extra mile for the party, Svoboda says: "We pull the costumes for them. When anyone else comes to rent costumes here, they have to pull costumes themselves."
It's almost enough to make a partygoer feel like a king.