Sometimes an organization evolves slowly from idea to fruition. Today’s organization went from inspiration to making a difference in a very short time and shows that anything is possible when you put your mind to something.
In January of 2010, Allyson Ahlstron read “Generation Change” by Zach Hunter, a book that detailed different service projects that teenagers had done across the country. She immediately became inspired to do something within her own community. Within weeks she had chosen the name Threads for Teens and a logo and started working on her idea to outfit ten deserving girls in two brand-new head-to-toe outfits. It has since evolved into a clothing boutique that provides clothing to underprivileged girls in foster care, group homes, or extreme situations of poverty.
Threads for Teens is a clothing boutique located in Windsor, California and has a goal to help young, less fortunate girls build their self-esteem and confidence. They work to accomplish this through gifts of clothing, support, and education. The boutique is in a retail location and decorated to look like a real store, but it open by appointment only and everything is free. Since their opening in August 2010, Threads for Teens has served over 250 girls by providing them with two brand new head-to-toe outfits. Over $125,000 in clothing donations and over $55,000 in monetary contributions have been made to the organization to date.
Founder Allyson told me, “If we can just brighten the days and lives of a few girls, we can change it for all the disadvantaged girls by spreading the word thanks to modern day communications. We are the future leaders of the world; if we can give each other confidence, nothing can stop us. No mountain is too high, no forest is too thick, and no ocean is too vast from giving girls everywhere the opportunity to succeed.”
Allyson also shared the story of a girl named Brittany who was helped by Threads for Teens. She was quiet but happy throughout her shopping experience in August of 2010. About a year later, a social worker called to share that after shopping at the Threads for Teens boutique Brittany found the self-esteem to follow her lifelong dream of becoming a mechanic.
How can you help?
- You can volunteer to organize clothing or facilitate shopping appointments in the boutique.
- You can donate used formal dresses in excellent condition for prom season as well as new clothing for teens.
- Threads for Teens also accepts monetary donations on their website.
- You can also take a look at the website to nominate a teen girl that meets the organization’s criteria.
- During the summer of 2013, Threads for Teens will be going on a national tour to outfit 1,000 girls in a brand-new outfit. They are seeking some special help for this tour including clothing, publicity, hotel and flight sponsorships. You can learn more and see their list of cities here.