CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – What started as a simple idea to donate prom dresses to teenagers in need has since grown into a movement inspiring thousands.
Sam Sisakhti started his fashion website with the goal of selling dresses to celebrities, but a visit to a low-income neighborhood put him on a different path.
“I just started giving out the dresses and I saw the appreciation was incredible,” Sisakhti said. It drove him to launch his next website, believeinyourself.org.
The nonprofit focuses on providing unworn designer dresses to teens who otherwise might not be able to afford them.
“As a retailer I almost felt guilty because there’s so much pressure on kids, especially young women, to stay in style every season and you don’t think to yourself… there’s people out there that can’t afford that.”
So far, Sisakhti has provided dresses to around 10,000 teens in 30 states.
The organization has also grown to include mentorship programs focusing on mental health and positive body image.
Sisakhti plans to keep expanding the organization to support all kinds of needs, and to include all genders.
“For instance, if someone wants to be a musician, we’ll purchase the music equipment, or a soccer player will get the cleats,” Sisakhti explained.
To get involved with the organization, click here.