Giving Back: 'Angel Closet' helps SW Washington teens

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by Teresa Yuan

kgw.com

Posted on November 25, 2009 at 12:07 PM

LONGVIEW, Wa --Teenage girls around Washington had a guardian angel in a Longview woman.
 
Barbara Brudvik was making sure their high school memories were possible at no expense -- one dress at a time.

Six years ago, Brudvik started "Angel Closet" in Longview, WA. Barbara and volunteers have collected, dry-cleaned and mended formal gowns to give high school girls for free. Their slogan: "Because every girls deserves a night to remember."

Some folks considered Brudvik a guardian angel.

"It humbles me very much," Brudvik told KGW.

After retiring Brudvik  wanted to find a way to serve her community. After reading an article about donating prom dresses, she asked her nieces if there was a need out in the community.

"They had girlfriends who couldn't afford dresses. It saddened my heart," said Brudvik.

The non-profit group started with a couple dozen dresses, now they had 400 dresses in all sizes plus shoes, jewelry and accessories, plus a new storefront in downtown Longview with dressing rooms and racks and racks of dresses.

"It gets me emotional," Vanessa Aiken said.

Aiken was a single mom who's daughter was one of hundreds of girls who have gotten their ball gowns from Angel Closet.

"It's amazing. It's a nice gift to give to someone doesn't have the financial stability to give their kids everything,"  Aiken told KGW.

Angel Closet was also inspiring young people to get involved. A high school student from Cathlemet started her own dress drive and she recently donated 37 dresses and accessories to the Closet.
   
Barbara said one of the most rewarding parts was seeing the girls transform when they found the perfect dress.

"It's not just the dress. It's the whole thing that they'll get to go to their dance," said Brudvik.

Angel Closet was scheduled to hold a big giveaway on December 12th where high school girls could get a dress for free or donate.

 

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