My Girlfriend’s Closet is a volunteer-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, initiated and managed by a dedicated group of San Diego mothers and their teenage daughters who serve together as an executive board. Our mission is to provide quality, gently used clothing, shoes and accessories to economically disadvantaged teenage girls and young women for free, in an atmosphere that enables them to “shop” with pride. Since our founding in 2005, our mother-daughter shared responsibility and decision making structure has fulfilled another important objective: to teach these young leaders how to effectively build and operate a nonprofit organization for the benefit of the community.
By providing stylish clothing in an inviting, boutique-like “shopping” environment, we offer a unique wardrobe resource that aims at helping these disadvantaged girls feel more confident and comfortable in their schools and communities. We collect clothing at various locations, and hold sorting and distribution events several times a year.
The Young Women We Serve
We target San Diego-area teenage girls and young women, ages 13-22, whose need is greatest – the homeless and those in foster care – by working closely with the social service agencies that serve them. Additional disadvantaged teens are identified and invited to our clothing distribution events by the community organizations that serve them and their families. My Girlfriend’s Closet currently serves over 600 young women in need each year.
Founders and Board
My Girlfriend’s Closet is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors which is comprised of these mother/teen daughter teams. Click here for more info on our board and how to get involved.
The founders knew that most teen girls in middle to upper-middle class families have plenty of stylish clothing to wear. They also love to explore each other’s closets and lend and borrow clothes. Often they find themselves with considerable quantities of barely used clothing that either no longer fits or that they no longer wear.
The organization’s name, My Girlfriend’s Closet, was chosen to reflect the desire of the founding teens to share their gently used clothing with disadvantaged girls their own age – just as they do with their girlfriends. The organization’s structure was designed to include and, in fact, depend upon the active participation and shared decision-making of the teen volunteers, thus fulfilling another objective: to teach tomorrow’s young community leaders how to initiate and effectively run a nonprofit organization for the benefit of the community.