The Story

“For it is in giving that we receive.”

– St. Francis of Assisi

Threads for Teens was founded one morning in January 2010 after then fourteen year old, Allyson Ahlstrom, had finished the book Generation Change, by Zach Hunter. The book detailed different service projects that teenagers had completed across the country, with some kids as young as twelve. Immediately, she became inspired to do something to help out within her community. That Sunday evening, she got together a letter, a logo, and a name. The original idea was to outfit ten deserving girls (foster care, extreme situations of poverty, etc.) in two brand-new head-to-toe outfits. Within a week of founding Threads for Teens, she sent out over three hundred letters, soliciting clothing donations.

For several months, she worked diligently collecting donations from different clothing companies. She says that she was “personally so shocked at the amount of companies willing to help. The generosity displayed was (and still is) incredible.” Finally, in August 2010, the boutique opening was set. The kick-off for Threads for Teens was a great success, catering to thirteen teenage girls, which was three more than the goal! All were very ecstatic to receive the brand-new clothing. With the generous support of Lori and Bill DenBeste, Allyson was able to keep Threads for Teens open beyond the clothing drive as a full-time boutique. In September 2011, Threads for Teens officially became a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Since then, Threads for Teens has served 3500 girls, with plans to grow exponentially.

Threads For Teens is accepting nominations for deserving girls to be a part of this incredible experience.

Nominate a Teen

Our Mission Statement

Threads for Teens’ goal is to help young, less-fortunate girls build their self-esteem, confidence, and give them hope. We will accomplish this through the gifts of clothing, support, and education. If everyone does a little, no one has to do a lot. If we can just brighten the day 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 forests are too thick, no oceans to vast from giving girls everywhere the opportunity to succeed.

The Facts

Q: What is Threads for Teens?

A: Threads for Teens is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization that gives under-privileged teen girls the opportunity to receive free, brand-new, quality clothing. Besides filling a tangible need, Threads for Teens gives young girls hope, boosts their self-esteem, and instills confidence.

Q: Who founded Threads for Teens?

A: Threads for Teens was founded by Allyson Ahlstrom in January 2010 when she was fourteen years old. With just an idea and a letter, Allyson was able to transform Threads for Teens into an ongoing charity that is able to support itself.

Q: Where did Allyson Ahlstrom find the inspiration to start Threads for Teens?

A: One day, Allyson was reading a book, called Generation Change, by Zach Hunter, and throughout reading, she felt extremely compelled to do something to help out. The book is about different service projects that teenagers did to help their communities. Reading about teenagers making a difference really made it clear to her that, at any age, a person can make a difference. The author wrote the book when he was 16, which made it even more relevant to Allyson, who was fourteen at the time. This is book is highly recommended to anybody who wants to start his or her own service project or who wants to be inspired. Even though it is written specifically about teenagers, it is a great resource.

Q: How do clothes help to build self-esteem?

A: Everyday, people make a conscious decision about what they will be wearing. What a person wears can reflect on how he or she is feeling about himself or herself. When a girl feels great about what she has on, she has more confidence and higher self-esteem. At Threads for Teens we strongly believe and know that this is true. With each new girl that comes to the shop, we see how girls are affected, knowing that they will like what they are wearing.

Q: How are girls chosen?

A: There is an application on this site that a social worker must fill out on behalf of the girl who would like to participate.

Q: Are boys included in your project?

A: No, not this time. There are many ideas for what would like to be done with Threads for Teens, and this is definitely one of them!

Q: How can I help?

A: I would love your help! If you would go to the “Get Involved” page, there are several ways listed for how to get involved.

Q: How many donations have there been thus far?

A: There have been many donations from different companies and individuals. As of right now, there has been over $100,000 in donations of items and services, and over $40,000 in monetary contributions.

Q: Are all of the items in the boutique brand-new?

A: Everything in the boutique is brand-new, except for formal dresses, which may have been worn once or twice.

Q: Does Threads for Teens accept donations of used clothing?

A: Threads for Teens does not accept donations of used clothing. The only exception are formal dresses. Many times formal dresses are worn once or twice and then tossed aside.

Q: When is the boutique open?

A: The boutique is open by appointment only. If you would like to visit the boutique some time, please send an email to set up a time.

Q: Can I volunteer at Threads for Teens?

A: Threads for Teens would love your help! Please go to the Get Involved page for more information on ways that you can volunteer with Threads for Teens.

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