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June 07, 2013 05:00 PM

California Teen Helps Foster Girls Across USA

Sioux Falls

When she was 14-years-old, Allyson Ahlstrom read a book that left a lasting impression.

"It was about all these different service projects from other young teenagers and young adults had done, and there was this one kid who had started a successful organization to combat human sex trafficking at the age of twelve,” Ahlstrom said.  “I was like, 'oh my gosh I am 14, I'm two years behind! I need to do something!”

She didn't waste any time. That night she created a letter, a logo, and an idea to hold a one-time clothing drive.

Fast forward four years, and that small idea is now a big pink trailer traveling across the United States making an even bigger impact in other girls' lives.

"Girls who are in foster care, group homes, or situations of poverty can get two head to toe outfits for free,” Ahlstrom said.

Court Appointed Special Advocates Executive Director Amy Benda, helped pick out 20 girls from local foster care who get to pick out new outfits from this traveling charity.

"This is more than just getting a new outfit. It is also about building self-esteem and self-confidence and giving girls some hope,” Benda said.

Threads for Teens has earned Allyson a HALO award, founded by actor Nick Cannon. That award included a $10,000 dollar check which put her dream on the fast track.

Ahlstrom said, "Honestly this organization being as successful as it has become is really incredible. Each and every day it shocks and amazes me to see people who are willing to support Threads For Teens."

She is protective of the privacy of the girls she helps, yet eager to share what each has given back to her.

"Meeting the girls is absolutely amazing," Ahlstrom concluded.
 

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