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Maria's Closet, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Mission: Located in San Pedro, CA, we provide to those in need: free new or nearly new formal wear, accessories, hair and make-up for Prom in a fun, empowering, carefree environment that inspires today’s young women to experience Prom with confidence. The fast-paced physical and emotional demands of senior year, lack of financial resources and the pressures of today’s social media culture, can impact confidence and self-esteem in young women. Senior year is a special time for teens. It is filled with iconic senior events like prom, grad night, class breakfasts, picnics, and trips — not to mention senior photos, yearbook ads, SAT’s, college applications, campus visits, college decisions and finally, graduation. As fun and exciting as all of these whirlwind activities and hallmark occasions are, they also mount up to some pretty hefty financial woes and stress which can lead to missing out on that last dance, Prom. At Maria's Closet, we don't let the cost of Prom weigh young women in our community down. We empower them - after all, it takes a village! We know that no senior wants to miss out on activities and events that they have been waiting for since the first day of freshman year! That's why Maria's Closet is empowering young women, one gown at a time!

Results: Our First Big Give resulted in 67 young women in the South Bay/Harbor Area of Los Angeles receiving dresses, styling advice, Make-up kits, clutches and earrings and a candy bar. Our 2019 goal was also met and we were able to empower 169 young women at our amazing Big Give and other events. Donate your Prom dress today!

Target demographics: Empowering Young Women one Prom Dress at a time!

Direct beneficiaries per year: 168 Young Women in Need

Geographic areas served: Los Angeles/ Harbor Area/South Bay

Programs: We provide Prom dresses, accessories and styling for young women in need and reside and attend high school within the SouthBay/Harbor/ Los Angeles Area

Community Stories

35 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

oraliaa

Client Served

Rating: 5

I applied for the event not thinking I would get selected but I’m so thankful I did. The days leading up to the actual event I was so nervous because I didn’t think they would have dresses my size that I would actually like but they did! They had a wide variety to choose from and an amazing team to help us. I’ve never been in a room with so much love and positivity, everyone was so happy and complimenting each other. Not only did Maria’s Closet help me with prom dress and accessories but they also helped me find someone that would help me with hair and make up after I confessed that I wasn’t so good at it. I’m forever thankful for everything Maria’s Closet did for me because prom night was so much fun and a moment I will never forget.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Had a great time at the event, I found the perfect dress for prom with the help of my own personal stylist. I am thankful that they took time to help all of us girls and without their help I don't think I would have made my prom dreams really come true thank you to all the special women who made this event possible and big thanks to Vera Jimenez for being present.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I absolutely loved experiencing Maria's Closet for the first time ever. I entered this contest thinking i wouldn't win and entered for the fun of it. I gota text message on friday night saying I was given the opportunity to participate. My mom being a single mom couldn't afford a prom dress so im thankful that Maria's closet gave me the opportunity to experience my last dance of high school with all these accessories and of course THE dress! I also thank Chris and Cole for helping me throughout the way :)

2

Advisor

Rating: 5

Thank you so much Maria's closet for Making our student's dreams come true. As an academic high school counselor, it is so rewarding to see our young ladies attending prom right before they experience a life milestone and transition of being a high school graduate. You guys truly empower young women one gown at a time. I cant wait to see my students wear their beautiful gowns for prom.

Ms. Carlos
-LIBRA Academy at Linda Esperanza Marquez High School

2 Alondra M.

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is such an amazing organization! I was able to receive such a beautiful prom dress and accessories for free. #promready

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I would like to thank Maria’s Closet for giving me and all the other amazing girls this opportunity. Thank you so much to every single person who helped putting this amazing event together. I can’t express how grateful I am for helping me find my perfect prom dress. Thanks to them I get to feel like a princess for a day.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Maria's Closet was extremely generous to me and hundreds of other high school girls- helping us find the perfect pom dress without having the confines of a price tag. The entire experience of finding a dress, makeup, and accessories was very fun and all the stylists helped each of the girls find exactly what they were looking for.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

This nonprofit organization was very generous in their donations. Not only did they provide a lot for all the girls getting prom dresses, but they were also very kind and uplifting to every girl there.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Was such a beautiful experience. Everyone’s kind and make u feel empowering.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Okay so when I say these ladies help you find the perfect dress, I literally mean they help you find the perrrfect prom dress, and they won't stop until you love it! They give awesome (truthful) feedback. I initially had a black dress I thought I liked. But after I took it off I felt like it wasn't my ideal dress that I pictured myself wearing for this special day when I was little. So I asked one of the ladies talking to a grouo of girls in front of me on the bleachers and told them about how I was feeling and she dropped what she was doing and told me to come with her. She placed me in the changing room and she said she'd be back. After a while, she came back with handfuls of dresses, displaying each on and asking which one I liked the most. There was some I really liked but didn't fit me and she said not to worry that's not the dress for you. You're in store for something better. While I was changing I walked out to see myself in the mirror and I noticed a group of women hustling through racks, looking for a dress that would look great on me, ME. I never felt so loved and cared for in my life. I tried on another dress and said wow they actually care about making this night special. I want to thank everyone who helped me out

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Maria's closet was such a fun experience you get to be social and pick out a dress that will fulfill you with joy to what you would wear to your prom night to those who would not be able to afford it

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

i was able to gain the confidence and get a dress for prom that i would not have been able to afford without maria’s closet.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I absolutely loved this event. There were so many options to choose from and it was catered to each individual who participated. There were many opportunities to win free things such as makeup and gift cards as well. Overall, I would highly recommend for others to apply because it was highly beneficial and the experience was amazing.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I absolutely love it❤️ I find my perfect dress that I wanted and their really nice

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

am so thankful that I had the opportunity for a dress in Maria Closets. I had fun with my personal stylist. The energy once I walked into the enviornment was amazing. Eveyone was so happy and I really liked that. Now I get to feel very pretty and confident on the day of my prom!

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Janay Jones, from WLCAC...I am beyond thankful that I was able to participate in Maria's Closet 2019 Dress Giveaway on yesterday. It was truly a memorable experience for not only all of the girls from WLCAC - FSC that we were able to take to the event, but for myself and staff. We enjoyed the love, patience and passion that each volunteer from Maria's Closet extended to each of our girls in helping them find the dress that was perfect for them. Not a moment went by that there wasn't a smile on the face of those stylists assisting the girls. The gowns were exceptionally stunning! I really appreciate the hard work and dedication that went into making the event a success.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Teresa. I had an amazing time at Maria's closet today. I am so thankful for this amazing opportunity. It gave a great feeling of relief about worrying about the cost of buying a prom dress. The people who where involved did such an amazing job and I had a blast picking out my prom dress.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

My name is Madeline Wright. I have been blessed by all the staff at Maria’s Closet who have assisted me with not only prom, but my transition from high school to college. I have grown another family full of women who support me and my endeavors. Special thanks to Rosa Pesenti and Ronna Luna for being such amazing role models in my life!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello my name is Gillian, I had the wonderful experience to get to go to la with Ronna to pick out any dress I wanted Ronna has made such a warming and truly beautiful organization and will continue for many years I was able to enjoy my prom with out feeling any negative thoughts because of how lovely and truly caring Ronna Luna is. She made me feel like her daughter and I couldn’t be more thankful to continue with this amazing organization

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Had a great experience getting the dresses organized!

1 Maricela V.

Advisor

Rating: 5

8 senior girls from HArts Academy in Harbor City received more than just a prom dress the day of the Big Give.They received love from their community from strangers, and this was a powerful life lesson. As a school Advisor too often I see these and many other students really struggling in so many areas of their lives so to be the center of attention for one day so that they can forget their problems is extremely empowering and symbolic!!! Thank you so much Maria's Closet !!!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Maria’s Closet is an amazing organization that truly empowers young women.
What a blessing!

2 dcusolito

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a local San Pedro resident and had the privilege of both donating my daughters dresses to being a stylist on the day of the "Big Give". Helping the girls find a dress that made them feel special was pure joy. The vibe in the room was sheer excitement going from the dressing rooms to accessories to purses to getting a swag bag - what a surprise treat for all! I plan on doing the same if not more next year to help build this amazing organization in any way I can. Congratulations to the team for a successful event!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer for Maria’s Closet it was a very rewarding and humbling experience! To be able to provide a once in a lifetime experience to some amazing young women in our community was truly an honor. To know how hard they all have worked in school and to know what they aspire to become is within their reach to spite their financial hardships they have overcome in their lives just continues to prove to e that no matter what you are given in life there is a rainbow after the the rain. I hope to continue to be inspired by these beauties and those to come, for many years! What an awesome way for a community to give back!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a joy it was for me to volunteer for such a beautiful event! The Big Give was so special, to see the happiness and the expressions on the girls faces as they said “yes to the dress” was priceless! Can’t wait to volunteer next year!!

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

Maria's Closet was one of the most life changing events I have ever been apart of. My dress was beautiful I felt like a princess at prom. I hope next year many more girls will have the same opportunity that I had.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough about Maria's Closet and the rewarding experience I had volunteering at the Big Give. To see first hand the transformation of the young women from walking in unsure and then walking out after receiving their prop dress confident, empowered and feeling beautiful! I will support and volunteer each year!

3 Kimmie B L.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This is exactly what the community needs! To uplift, empower and validate the young women of tomorrow, this is amazing.
Just think how many young ladies lives will forever be changed by this gesture!! We need more organizations like this! Thank you Maria’s Closet for making this happen!

3 Geri A.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I cannot say enough great things about Maria's Closet. I am a retired teacher after spending 30+ years in the public classroom. This organization gives young women the confidence boost they so desperately need to succeed in the world. Keep up the great work, Maria's Closet! You're changing this world one young lady at a time.

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I heard about Maria’s closet and what the organization was doing for young girls and thought it was amazing. The people behind Maria’s closet should be an inspiration to everyone. The organization went way above and beyond to make these girls have a terrific prom experience. This was their first year, I can’t wait to see what next year brings! Great work!

5

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hello my name is Melanie and this organization helped my Prom dream come true! throughout the whole step of the way this organization was so kind and did so much not just for me but other girls that are going to prom. They made the whole experiencing into something I will never forget! From picking out the prom dress, to the accessories, picking your makeup look and Finally saying yes to the dress. I had the best night of my life Thank You Maria's Closet!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am the Leadership Director at the Port Of Los Angeles High School. Seventeen of my girls were chosen to receive prom dresses. On the day of the Big Give, they received so much more. But I think I received more than them. I cheered, I cried, I was overwhelmed with the generosity that was shown to my girls. This organization is wonderful and giving and humble. They made every single girl look and feel like a princess. This charity is going to keep growing because the hearts of the women involved are huge.

3

Client Served

Rating: 5

Such an amazing organization! All the time and effort put into making so many girls feel beautiful is so amazing and heartwarming. I admire everything that Maria’s Closet has done for myself and all the other young women involved

3 Rosa P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Maria’s closet is a wonderful organization that strives to have young women feel special,beautiful and empowered. It is a blessing to share this very special time with these girls as they leave high school and begin the next chapter of their lives.

4 Shelbie D.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This charity is doing amazing things for young girls in the community! Highly recommend sharing this with anyone looking to donate, volunteer, get involved or needing a prom dress!