This nonprofit helps teenagers across Central Valley find gowns

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- On March 19, Mariah Walstrom did a soft launch of her non-profit, Dream Dress Closet, which she's long wanted to start.

"I always had this dream that one day when I became a teacher, I would give back to my students," said Walstrom.

Her passion for this organization goes deeper. As a teenager, she needed a formal gown and said she never forgot what it meant for her and her family to get a free dress through a similar organization.

"It alleviated that stress of my parents paying for it, and also on me and that I was not making them pay for it and that I was using a dress that someone had gifted," she said.

Now, Walstrom's hoping to relieve the same stress and put a smile on the faces of teenagers and families in need.

"It gives them the opportunity to have a dress they can enjoy and make memories in," she added.

Walstrom plans to be mobile to serve teenagers throughout the Central Valley better.

"If someone in Fresno wants a dress, we want to go, and if someone in Merced needs a dress, we want to be able to travel," Walstrom said.

So far, over a dozen dresses have been donated in all styles, shapes and sizes! The goal is to grow that number and prepare to give back to the community in the fall.

So if you have a gown with no use, you might want to consider helping Walstrom with her mission.

"Realizing that the stuff you have sitting in your closet can make a difference for someone," Walstrom said.

If you would like to donate or need a dress, you can find them on Facebook or Instagram.
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