The Giving Gown Foundation is a non-profit 501(c)3 community service organization. We collect donations of new and like-new formal gowns and accessories and provide them FREE of charge to high school girls who would otherwise be unable to attend their formal events. We also collect less formal dresses that we can include in our annual dress sale held in the fall of each year. The money raised from this sale helps us purchase items for Boutique Day held each spring.
We are dedicated to promoting confidence and self-esteem to high school girls and strive to help them attend their formal events in style, regardless of their financial circumstances. On Boutique Day we surround young ladies in the Houston area with positive role models and show them grace and love just for being them – no strings attached. We welcome girls from all walks of life and celebrate girls as they learn about what defines true beauty.
While the girls may be focused on their dress, we are focused on them. Our mission is for each girl to be treated with respect, grace and love. Every young woman deserves the opportunity to realize positive experiences regardless of their financial or family circumstances.
The Giving Gown story began in 2007. After learning about sister organizations providing teenage girls with everything they need to attend their formal events, JoAnn Trchalek was moved. She thought this would be an incredible way to serve girls in her local community of Houston, Texas. Together with her co-founder, Adina Walker, she began to make plans to provide a prom outreach that supplies all the prom necessities for girls – FREE of charge. What began as an outreach to just under 100 girls has grown to an annual weekend of over 500! JoAnn and Adina thought of everything to make this day so special. The Boutique Day ballroom is laced with beauty and grace. From the pink fairy godmother aprons to Giving Gown’s dress inventory of over 8,000 dresses, it is something you really have to see to believe.
While driving through Houston in early 2009, the local Christian radio station KSBJ introduced Ashley Atnip to the incredible work of Giving Gown. She instantly wanted to be involved in the work God was doing with this organization. When the Giving Gown Foundation needed a host for their event, her local church stepped up to provide a permanent home for Boutique Day. Although JoAnn and Adina have now turned over Giving Gown to a different group of women, they are still big cheerleaders for the vision they had many years ago. Because they followed through with their dream, thousands of teenage girls in the Houston area experience an unconditional love on Boutique Day that is hard to put into words. The new team finds an incredible amount of joy in seeing this vision through.
Although we LOVE dresses at Giving Gown, we love these girls more. The heart of this organization is about so much more than a dress. At the core of Giving Gown is a group of women who believe every teenage girl deserves to feel loved and celebrated just for being who she is—no strings attached. We realize that different life experiences often make it difficult for a family to afford the extras, and Giving Gown wants to help! On Boutique Day, each young lady is paired with a fairy godmother. The princess is then whisked away to choose a gown, shoes, and jewelry for her special day. We even have seamstresses on hand to help with alterations. These women are able to provide the extra stitch to make the gown fit just right. We are also able to provide a lovely lunch for our princesses and guests in our Boutique Day Café. The most important aspect of our event is our Empowerment Workshop where girls learn about real beauty. These precious girls come for a dress but leave with so much more! We believe in empowering girls, one dress at a time.
Our volunteers are at the heart of this organization. Many of us can remember a time when we may have needed something, but the money was just not there. At Giving Gown, we truly believe that serving others brings about a joy that cannot be found in anything else. When you walk in to the boutique, the volunteers are smiling just as much as the princesses. We value our opportunity to bring such an incredible, life-giving volunteer experience to the Houston community. We simply cannot do this without the hearts of the great people of Houston, Texas.
There might just be a place for you in our story. If you are a business owner, seamstress, baker, organizer, or simply have a smile to share with a teenage girl, you could fit perfectly in the story we are writing. We would love to hear from you.