In 2010 fourteen year old Allyson Ahlstrom started a project called Threads for Teens in Santa Rosa, California. Allyson filled the communities need for clothing for girls in foster care, group homes, and situations of poverty. Her goal was to provide these girls with self-esteem and confidence as their clothing options were limited at best. The budget for girl’s clothing in foster care is quite low and often does not even begin to cover the necessities. Allyson’s project quickly transformed into much more than clothing donations when she opened her own store. Threads for Teens has a storefront located in Windsor, California and provides girls with two brand-new, head-to-toe outfits free of charge.
Allyson was able to achieve this by writing over 400 letters and emails to clothing manufacturers asking for donations. This resulted in $135,000 and donations from companies such as Tommy Hilfiger, Miss Me, Claire’s, Marmot, UGG Australia, and many more. To date, 348 girls have received complete outfits from the store, over 100 girls have received prom dresses, and over 175 have received backpacks full of school supplies. But Allyson wanted to reach out to girls nationwide!
After the success of her storefront in Windsor, Allyson took her project to the road. A truck and trailer were transformed into a mobile boutique. The Threads for Teens Summer Tour of 2013 allowed for 1000 girls to receive clothing from the mobile boutique. The mobile store reached all 48 continental states and Washington DC. Allyson’s unique approach allows for girls to feel confident in brand-new clothing. The girls feel good about themselves because they are dressed in clothes that fit, are in new condition, and are up to date with varying style trends. While shopping at the store or mobile boutique, girls can escape their problems and leave feeling confident. Allyson provides these girls with a personal stylist, a friend, and a new ambition.
Threads for Teens is always looking for new clothes and formal dresses for girls and anyone looking to contribute clothes, time or money is encouraged to contact Allyson through their website http://www.threadsforteens.org/get-involved/ . You can follow the organization on twitter (@threadsforteens) and Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/ThreadsforTeens). Allyson is always looking for ways to extend the scope of Threads for Teens and appreciates all the help she can get. Here at Points of Light we are always encouraging young people like Allyson to get involved! Please check out http://www.generationon.org/ to learn how you can make a difference like Allyson.