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Detroit man, state raising money to help kids pay for prom suits

Detroit man, state raising money to help kids pay for prom suits
Detroit man, state raising money to help kids pay for prom suits 01:53

(CBS DETROIT) - Going to prom is an experience most kids look forward to their senior year, but sometimes money and other hardships can become a burden.

A local Detroit man and the state of Michigan are hoping to take some of that stress away for kids in the city.

"The mission is very simple. The mission is service. The mission is love," said Damon Cannon.

Born and raised in Detroit, Cannon is changing lives.

"We're really trying to serve an underserved community," Cannon said

In the past couple of years, Cannon and his company Hired Muscle Logistics Labor and Moving have raised and donated money to help young boys in Detroit go to prom.

Damon Cannon and Latesheia Norfleet helping young men pick out prom suits in 2022. Latesheia Norfleet

"We got young men fitted for new suits. They were so proud to just go to prom because originally, they didn't want to participate so once the kids saw that we were providing new suits, they were all on board and they suddenly wanted to go," Cannon said.

His efforts not going unnoticed. Last year, Cannon partnered with an MDHHS (Michigan Department of Health & Human Services) program called "Pathways to Potential" to take fundraising a step further.

"He (Cannon) planted the seed and I watered it and made sure it grew," said Latesheia Norfleet.

Norfleet is a Success Coach with "Pathways to Potential." She says the program works with kids to improve attendance to make sure they graduate on time.

A young man from Henry Ford High School picking out his new prom suit in 2022. Latesheia Norfleet

"If I can tell a kid ok, improve your attendance, come to school every day, and then at the end of everything, we're going to make sure you can have this prom experience. This once in a lifetime thing. Believe it or not, that is something that will make a child get up every day and come to school because they have something to look forward to," Norfleet said.

Some kids may face hardships at home. Having walked in those shoes growing up, both Cannon and Norfleet understand.

"You're not alone, we see you, we support you and we want you to go forward," said Cannon.

This year, the goal is to raise $10,000 to not only support "Pathways to Potential" at high schools in Detroit but to get dozens of young men at Henry Ford High School suited up.

Alysia Burgio - CBS Detroit

"I want to be that guardian angel. I want to be that person that pushes and is able to remove barriers," said Norfleet.

"Prom, graduation, I want you to segue and spin that right into a job interview. We want the gentlemen to have these suits so they can go forward in life. Where you start isn't where you finish," said Cannon.

If you'd like to take part in the cause, you have until mid-April to donate.

Donations are still welcome after the deadline. Norfleet says that money will be used to help with next year's prom.

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