The mission of Abby’s Closet, an Oregon-based nonprofit, is to collect donated formal gowns and give them away free of charge to high school students for prom. For some students, getting a free dress from Abby’s Closet is the only way they’re able to attend prom, an important celebration and rite of passage. But we’re also more than a dress – or really, more than the 20,000 dresses we’ve given away so far – because we’re just as focused on sequins and satin as we are on education, confidence, and inclusiveness. We empower high school students to learn leadership skills through our Student Advisory Board. We award a $1,000 college scholarship each year. We’re welcoming to people of different gender identities, abilities, and sizes. The goal of Abby’s Closet is to make every participant feel special, beautiful, and confident.
Founded in 2004, Abby’s Closet started in, well, Abby’s closet. When heading off to college, Abby Egland wanted to ensure her favorite pink prom dress wouldn’t just collect dust, and recognized it could still bring so much joy to someone else. She wanted to give it another chance to dance! Founding Abby’s Closet with her mom, Sally Egland, the non-profit has hosted more than a decade of Prom Gown Giveaways for students from more than 250 schools in Oregon and Southwest Washington.