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Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I hope everyone has been having a great holiday season! Mine has been filled with doing a lot of work for Threads for Teens. There have been some extremely exciting happenings occurring.
In November, Threads for Teens was featured in Costco Connection! I was so excited and shocked when Costco emailed saying that they would like to feature TFT. Click HERE to read the article online. The magazine is circulated to 8.2 million subscribers around the world. After the article was sent, I received so many emails from people around the country wanting to open Threads for Teens locations in their own towns. Hopefully soon we can turn those wishes into realities.

(Council Member Salmon, Me, Mayor Fudge, Mr. Kelley, Chamber Board Director Jones)
Mayor Debora Fudge of Windsor, along with council member Sam Salmon, chamber board director Will Jones and Interim Assistant Town Manager David Kelley visited the Threads for Teens boutique on December 12th. I Had a great time showing them around and telling them the Threads for Teens story.

On February 25th 2012, Threads for Teens will be hosting a dinner/dance fundraising event. There will be live and silent auctions. I have been having a great time planning this event. Over three hundred letters have been sent out thus far soliciting donations for the auction portion. Today, I received confirmation for two items, which is extremely exciting! To the right is a picture of all of the different documents included in the letter. As more details of the event are firmed up, I will post them to this blog and on the Threads for Teens Facebook page. I would love to have as many supporters of Threads for Teens attend the event as possible!

In mid-March, Threads for Teens will be sponsoring a prom dress event that will give prom dresses to under-privileged girls. I am most excited about this event. If you have a dress that you would like to donate, please email me HERE. Threads for Teens will be working with several organizations in the county to make this event possible. Again, I will post more information as it is decided upon.

I also would like to say that Threads for Teens's board of directors are Lori DenBeste, Tarik Omar, and Judi Greaney. We had our very first board meeting in November, which was exciting. Thank you to them!

I wish everyone a wonderful 2012 filled with love and blessings!
Allyson Ahlstrom

Monday, October 17, 2011

Long Overdue Update About The Backpack Event!

Thank you to everyone that helped to make the Threads for Teens 2nd Annual Back-To-School Backpack Event a success. Seventy-five girls received backpacks filled with school supplies. All were incredibly excited to receive a backpack.
Thanks, Allyson Ahlstrom

Saturday, October 1, 2011


Threads for Teens is officially a non-profit organization as recognized by the federal IRS! This process has been a long one with many different steps to take. I am so happy to have passed this hurdle! I definitely could never have done this by myself, so I would like to thank Kevin Veenstra and everyone at Sonoma Law Group that helped me with the paperwork for the 501(c)(3). They have been an absolute pleasure to work with and are extremely professional. With the 501(c)(3), Threads for Teens will have the opportunity to receive more donations and the ability to apply for grants. With this, Threads for Teens will be able to serve more and more girls.

Besides that, Soroptimist International sent out a videographer several months ago to shoot a video of the Threads for Teens boutique. Please take a minute to check it out!

Allyson Ahlstrom

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Back-to-School Backpack Event!

Threads for Teens will be hosting a backpack drive to help on August 27th, 2011. At this event, seventy-five girls will be given backpacks filled with school supplies that might not have been able to afford them otherwise. There are two ways that you can help.
  1. Sponsor a backpack filled with supplies by donating $20. For $20, Threads for Teens will fill a backpack with your donation.
  2. Fill a backpack with school supplies and donate it directly to Threads for Teens. Here is the list of supplies that will be needed in each backpack:

One backpack

One notebook

One red pen

One pack of blue or black pens

One pencil holder

One pair of scissors

One 12" ruler

One glue stick

Four pencils

One packet of graph paper

One pack of colored pencils (12ct)

One pack of crayons (12 ct)

One binder

One highlighter

One pack of flash cards (100 ct)

One big pink eraser

Several small pencil head erasers

1 pack of #2 pencils (12ct)

2 pocket folders

1 pencil sharpener

If you are interested in helping out by donating $20, you can mail a check to Threads for Teens or you can donate online via PayPal.

or mail a check made out to Threads for Teens
Threads for Teens
ATTN: Allyson Ahlstrom
810 DenBeste Court Windsor, CA 95492

If you would like to help out by directly donating a backpack filled with supplies, that would be be great. You can drop off your backpack at the Threads for Teens location anytime between Monday the 21st and Friday the 26th. Hours being 7:00am-6:30pm. The address is: 810 DenBeste Court, Windsor, CA, 95492. A backpack donation box will be set out front. Please email me if you will be donating a backpack so I can anticipate the drop-off.

If you have any questions, please email me:
Thank you so much for your help!
Here's to this event being a HUGE success.
Allyson Ahlstrom

Monday, August 15, 2011


The other day, on Tuesday the 9th to be exact, I spilled a bottle of water on my computer. How did this happen, you ask? Well, here is the story.

That Tuesday, I was at my shop for an appointment with a lovely young lady who was shopping around. This girl was having a lot of fun and chose all pink items. Anyway, as I was talking to her foster mom, I was drinking water from huge a Smartwater water bottle (obviously this water doesn't make a person smart...). I didn't secure the cap each time I set it down, rather I just left the cap on the top of the bottle. Well as I was talking to the foster mom, BAM! My hand hits the water bottle and it spills all over my computer. I caught the water bottle quickly, but not quick enough. The computer screen turned black. Then, my mom had the brains to turn over the computer in a V position to let water leak out.

After the appointment was over, we rushed to the Apple Store, where I was quickly told that the computer would cost $770 to repair since my computer is out of warranty. UM NO WAY AM I PAYING $770 TO FIX A LAPTOP! So we went to a Mac Repair shop in town to see what they would have to say. Once again, I was quickly told that it would not be worth it to fix the computer. During this time, being the tech-savvy person I am (not really), posted on Facebook what had happened. Within a couple of minutes, my friend Synica commented on my status and told me not to fear because her dad fixes water damaged laptops all the time! YAYY!

On Saturday, my mom and I drove to Antioch where Synica's dad fixed my laptop. Besides that, he added more RAM and upgraded my operating system so thank you so much! I have to say, my computer runs much faster than it did before....maybe water is the cure to a slow computer? Just joking, but in all seriousness, it does run faster.

Allyson Ahlstrom

Thursday, August 4, 2011

"Agents of Change"

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to do an interview with the site KooDooZ. KooDooZ is a social networking site for kids that want to make a difference in their communities, countries, and event the world. It honestly is a great tool for when a young person just is starting out in wanting to make a difference. The site is a great tool, and one that I would highly recommend. The interview went great. Thank you for having me Brandi, Dani, and everyone else at KooDooZ!

During the interview, one of the phrases that was used was "agents of change". That really stood out to me, because I believe that if everyone does a little, no one has to do a lot! A lot of people think that it takes so much work and effort to help out, but it really doesn't! I do spend a lot of time on Threads for Teens, but none of it is hard work, it is all fun. This post is going to highlight different resources on how to start your own project.

First of all, KooDooz is an excellent resource to get motivated and have fun. I would highly recommend that you join the site! Who knows, soon you might see a familiar face on there ;)! is another incredible website to network with other young philanthropists and learn many things about running a charity project. I have a project posting for Threads for Teens on DoSomething. By having a project posting, I am able to apply for a grants which is a great resource. There are not many grants out there for young people. DoSomething also has this incredible online "university" that teaches many things about running a charity project. The information is invaluable as it addresses topics like getting corporate donors, marketing, etc. These informational videos and articles are great because the information contained within them is not easily found on the internet. Click HERE to go to DoSomething University.

The book Generation Change by Zach Hunter is the book that helped to motivate me to start my own project. It has many different organizations profiled, with information on how to help those organizations or how to start a project similar to the ones profiled.

Allyson Ahlstrom

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Carroll Shelby Foundation Benefit/Open House

Last night I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Carroll Shelby Foundation Benefit put on by Lori and Bill DenBeste. It was such an amazing event; I had an absolute blast. Thank you very much to the DenBestes for having me!

I brought three of my friends to help out at the event: Natalie, Katie, and Heidi. Also, my friend Synica also was there to help. We arrived and greeted people at the entrance as they walked in. After doing that for an hour and a half, we went into the event and were able to enjoy a VERY yummy dinner of Spaghetti with Meatballs, vegetables, veal, and some other food items. At this point, I was asked to go on stage and speak. Here is my speech:

During the event, a generous man said he would donate $200 if someone matched him with that donation. Well, it seemed to me that everyone in the whole place raised their hand! At the end of the night, Threads for Teens raised over $5,000 dollars!!!!!!! WOW, thank you! That is absolutely incredible. When I figure out what Threads for Teens will do with that money, I will most definitely be updating this blog.

After I spoke, Mr. Carroll Shelby spoke about his foundation. Which does some pretty incredible things for children. Check out his foundation HERE. Then there was a live auction. I have to say, auctioneers really have a lot of talent. I definitely would not be able to talk that fast. I had enough trouble following the whole auction. The auction was incredibly exciting to watch. My friends and I had a blast. THANK YOU SO SO MUCH TO LORI & BILL DENBESTE FOR INVITING ME TO ATTEND. :D Here is a picture of my friends and me at the event with Carroll Shelby.

(Natalie, Me, Carroll, Katie, and Heidi)

Also, my Open House event went incredibly well. I was very happy that everyone that came to the boutique had the opportunity to fully understand how Threads for Teens works. Thank you to everyone that was able to come. Sometime in the future I will have another event so anybody that was unable to attend, might be able to see the boutique.

Allyson Ahlstrom

Friday, June 24, 2011

Communication/OPEN HOUSE EVENT

In today's society there is a plethora of communication tools; the three main communications being phones, social networking sites, and email. Within in each of those three tools, many more capabilities are available. Therefore, it really should be easy to keep in touch with anyone. However, I find this to not be the case. I really find keeping in touch to be one of my largest challenges in life and in Threads for Teens.

For Threads for Teens, there is a lot of communication that must be made. Phone calls, emails, blog posts, Twitter updates, and Facebook statuses are the many ways that I try to keep Threads for Teens going. This is definitely a lot to juggle. At first, I was really terrible at keeping things together, but as I have been doing this for a longer period of time, I have been doing better. It can be insanely daunting to have all of these tools at my fingertips, so at points I don't even know where to start. However, I love what I do with Threads for Teens so it never feels like a job.
Now, you might be asking yourself, "what is the point of this blog post?". That is an extremely valid question and my answer that this is the reason that my blog posts, twitter updates, and Facebook statuses seem infrequent. Just know, there is always work going on with Threads for Teens.

NOW I HAVE AN EXTREMELY EXCITING ANNOUNCEMENT! I have officially set a date for the Threads for Teens Open House Event. It will be July 10th 2011 from 3:00pm-6:00pm with a presentation at 4:30pm. It is drop-in, so feel free to come whenever. The event is free to attend so please bring as many people as you would like! It will be a great time, and will enable people to be able to come to the shop and see what it is all about.
Here is the actual invitation that will be sent out:

*click on the images to make them larger

I hope to see you there!

Allyson Ahlstrom

Sunday, June 5, 2011


On Tuesday, I will be officially done with sophomore year in high school. I cannot believe that at all, as I feel like only yesterday I was a freshman, walking into the gym on the very first day of school. I was terrified that day, as I had no clue what Ursuline High School would be like. I didn't know if I would fit in, make any friends, be able to handle the classes, like the teachers, etc. After a rocky first semester, I found that Ursuline High School was everything that I could have ever hoped for in a high school. The teachers are amazingly supportive; they always try to make sure that every student succeeds in what she wants to do, providing guidance at every step of the way. Many teachers and faculty members have gone out of their way to help me with Threads for Teens. I would like to give a huge thank you to Ms. Greaney, the CBSL Ursuline girls coordinator. She has been helping me with Threads for Teens since the very, very beginning, giving me advice on what to do whenever I have been stuck. Ms. Carver, the principal of UHS, is another person that I would like to give a huge thank you. She has been extremely supportive. Ms. Hardy, I also would like to thank you for helping me out with all of the tax forms. Those forms have contributed hugely to the success of Threads for Teens. Other people at my school that I would like to thank are as follows: Ms. Martin, Mr. Kamplain, Ms. Bailey, Ms. Niendorf, Ms. Paul, Ms. Barry, Ms. Kelly, and Ms. Ormond. THANK YOU!
Ms. Carver, Me, Ms. Greaney

The girls at my school are caring, compassionate, and kind. My class has so many wonderful, bright girls that are always willing to help. I know this to be true, as more than 32% (25 girls) of the girls in my class have helped Threads for Teens in some form or another. So, from to all of those volunteers, THANK YOU! I know that I will never be short on volunteers because of these wonderful girls from my school. At the shop, my friends have helped me out with many different tasks including: fixing a table, making motivational signs, finding ingenious ways to organize items, giving fashion advice to girls that have come into the shop, and really doing any task that I find needs to be done, without complaint. Here are some pictures of what girls from my school have done to help the shop:

Now this table took a lot of time to do (many hours)! It started with cutting out clippings from magazines, placing them, the modge-podging them onto the table. Many girls helped with this project.

Yes, this is a fridge. I never knew what to do with it until several girls had the idea to put merchandise in it!

Here are many of my friends that have helped Threads for Teens. :)

Without the help of volunteers, many of these things would never have been done!
Now, you may or may not know this, but on tuesday at 12:00pm PST, Ursuline High School will be closing its doors to private, all-girls, Catholic education indefinitely. This saddens me immensely to know that I will not be seeing many of the familiar faces next year when I will be at Cardinal Newman High School. I will miss so many teachers, administration, and staff next year. I did not mention all the names of people that have helped me personally in this blog post, but I want you (the reader) to know that there are many other incredible people that are a part of Ursuline that have helped me personally, and many other students in so many different ways. Speaking for fellow students and myself, THANK YOU.

Back to Threads for Teens news, I would like to thank Buckle for sending a box of assorted clothing items! Thank you, all of it was needed very much. I know that girls will be insanely excited to see the new items that you have sent. :)

One of my favorite things about the physical location of the boutique is the fitting room. When the shop was being set-up, creativity had to be used to figure out where girls would try on clothes. The space that Threads for Teens is in right now used to be a deli. In the deli was a large fridge. This fridge is now the dressing room. Don't worry, we don't keep it too cold ;)!

I need to get back to studying for finals :/, but I will be doing a lot of Threads for Teens stuff this summer, including an open house. I know I said by this time I would have information on it, but we are still in the final stages of planning it. I promise that information will come soon.

Lots of Love!
Allyson Ahlstrom

Monday, May 2, 2011

Soroptimist International Founder Region Conference Brunch

Hi everyone! I hope all is well.
Yesterday, I had the honor of being able to attend the the Soroptimist International Founder Region Conference Brunch at the Doubletree Inn in Rohnert Park. It was a fabulous time and I would like to thank everyone involved in Soroptimist for being so kind and accommodating.

Now, the reason I was there was because several weeks ago I attended a luncheon for winning the Violet Richardson Award from the Soroptimist International of Santa Rosa. I talk about it in THIS post. For a refresher, below is a description of the award from the website.

"The Violet Richardson Award honors young women between the ages of 14 and 17 for volunteer action such as fighting drugs, crime and violence, cleaning up the environment and working to end discrimination and poverty."

The award process begins on the local level. I applied for the local award way back in december and won. My local club is the santa rosa. Now this award has the potential to go all the way to the national level. Since I won the local award, I was submitted to win the district award. All of the local winners were submitted to the district. In my district, (district IV), there are ten clubs. A couple of weeks ago, right before I was to go the the luncheon for being the local winner, I received a letter in the mail saying that I was the district winner as well! I was very shocked and honored. Because I won district, I was invited to go to the Awards brunch at the Doubletree in Rohnert Park, yesterday (May 1st).

The next level up from the district level is the regional level. There are six districts in the region that Santa Rosa is a part of. Therefore, there were five other AMAZING girls that had also won the Violet Richardson Award at the district level in attendance at the brunch. All six of us were asked to speak for two minutes on what we had done. Below is a picture of me speaking at the brunch.

After each of us had talked in front of the four hundred people in attendance, we were each handed a very nice gift-bag full of fun little goodies, and a $250 check! I totally had no idea about that, which was amazing!!! Anyway, after each of us had spoken, they announced that of the six of us district winners, one would be winning $2000 more, $1000 for the charity of our choice, and the other $1000 for the winner personally. This girl would win at the regional level and be eligible to compete for the national award.

I was already ecstatic to be attending the breakfast, and honestly did not think that I would win. All of the other girls had told their stories, all so incredibly diverse and amazing. Then, the winner was being announced. "The winner of the $2000 is district.......................4, ALLYSON AHLSTROM!" My jaw literally dropped. I had no clue that I was going to win! I am shocked, honored, and so thankful to Soroptimist for giving me this opportunity. Threads for Teens will benefit immensely from this wonderful donation. THANK YOU!

Here are several pictures from the event.

With my certificate!
By the lovely flag

My nana!
My daddy!

Now, last years regional winner was a girl named Sarah Williams from Pleasanton, CA. She started a blanket project called "A Blanket of Their Own". She collects handmade "tie" blankets and donates them to foster children. Her project will soon be in all fifty states and is already in several different countries. What she has accomplished is incredible. HERE is a news article and video explaining what she does/has done. This is a great cause that anyone can participate in and make a huge difference in a young foster child's life. Below is a picture of Sarah and me at the awards brunch.

I am so blessed to have been able to attend this event and meet so many amazing women. Once again, thank you Soroptimist International! I truly appreciate everything that you have done for Threads for Teens.

Lastly, some updates about what is going on with Threads for Teens itself. I am currently working on setting up a scholarship fund sponsored by Threads for Teens. This has been very exciting. A part of Threads for Teens mission statements says that it wants to focus on education, this is bringing in a huge part of that mission!

Another new element that is being planned are educational seminars that will take place in the fall and winter of this year, and the spring of next year. Topics will vary. Some include panels on Drug & Alcohol Abuse, and Human Trafficking. There were will also be lighter topics that relate to personal grooming, college, and cooking. This is also something that I am thrilled to be starting. It has always been my personal goal to help educate teens, tweens, children, and really anyone who will listen on current problems, and other fun things. Please watch out for an official announcement about this.

The number one question that I am asked about Threads for Teens is, "When can I come visit the boutique?" Well, Hours are by appointment only. However, I would love to have as many people as possible come into the shop and really get a feel for what it is all about. Therefore, an open house is being planned to bring people in to see what Threads for Teens is like. There will be appetizers, a presentation, and a q&a session. This event will be a lot of fun! The date is not set yet, however it will definitely be sometime in June. When I have all of the details finalized, they will be posted here on the blog, the Facebook, and the Twitter. This will be no later than friday the 13th.

***Make sure to LIKE us on Facebook and FOLLOW us on Twitter!

One last thing, I am looking for donations from local hair and nail salons of gift certificates for girls that come into the shop. All donations will be tax deductible. Please send me an email if you or someone you know is interested! Thank you.

Now, I apologize for this EXTREMELY long post. Thank you for reading!
I will update very soon!
Allyson Ahlstrom

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Red Cross Real Hero Breakfest

This past Wednesday, I attended the Red Cross Real Heroes breakfast at the Doubletree in Rohnert Park. I was honored, along with ten other extraordinary people, in the Good Samaritan - Youth category. The experience was tremendous. I am honored to have been a part of the experience.

I would like to give special thanks to Emily Buller for making everything extremely efficient and easy. I would also like to thank everyone else at the Red Cross that helped to put on this wonderful time. Also, congratulations to all of the other winners. Click HERE to read an article from the Press Democrat.

Besides this award, many exciting things have been happening with Threads for Teens. Recently, American Eagle Outfitters, Buckle,, Claire's, and Torrid have sent amazing donations. Thank you so much!

***If you know a girl that would be a good candidate to come into the boutique, please check out for information on how to nominate a deserving girl.

I will update later with pictures from the event!

Allyson Ahlstrom

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thank you Soroptimist International of Santa Rosa!

Last thursday, I went to an award luncheon put on by Soroptimist International of Santa Rosa, honoring females with several different awards. The three awards are as follows:

Ruby Award


Donna Zapata

Latina-Connection Consulting

Women’s Opportunity Award


Melanie Sypnicki

Santa Rosa Junior College

Violet Richardson Award


Allyson Ahlstrom

Threads for Teens - Ursuline High School

I won the Violet Richardson Award. I am extremely thankful and honored to have won. Thank you Soroptimist International of Santa Rosa!

I will now be attending the district level award ceremony in May which will be very exciting.

Here are some pictures:

My dad, me, my mom
My grandpa Gus, me, my Auntie Abbie, my nana

My principal Ms. Carver, me, my teacher Ms. Greaney

Me, Malia Anderson (President of Soroptimist International Santa Rosa), Donna Zapata (Winner of the Ruby Award), Melanie Sypnicki (Winner of Women's Opportunity Award).

Allyson Ahlstrom

Monday, February 14, 2011


Yesterday, my friends Katie and Kelsey accompanied me to the boutique to do some inventory! It was a lot of fun, but there is still so much work to do. Claire's, Torrid, & American Eagle all sent a bunch of items to be put in the shop. Currently, I am looking for more girls to come into the shop, so if you know someone that works in social services, please refer them to the website. Here are some pictures from yesterday!

See ya soon!
Allyson Ahlstrom

Saturday, February 12, 2011

New donations are rolling in....

Here is a picture of boxes received filled with clothing, accessories, shoes, etc. to go to the shop tomorrow! Super exciting! The boxes are from Torrid, Claire's and Miss Me! Stay tuned for more updates.

Allyson Ahlstrom

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


I'm absolutely terrible at blogging. I've had many blogs before this one, and they always end up the same. Slowly, posting slips and slips until it is essentially non-existent. Fortunately, those blogs really didn't have readers, so I never felt bad about not posting. However, with this blog, I do feel terrible as I know that I definitely have readers that want to know what's going on with Threads for Teens. One of my New Years Resolutions is to update this blog more. I will do it!

First off, I hope everybody has been well since the last time I updated. Second off, a lot of CRAZY things have been happening. I cannot wait to announce them officially on the blog. I promise, readers, you guys will be the first to know. In general news, lately I have been sending out a ton a letters in hopes of getting new donors for Threads for Teens. As of today, I know that the batch of about 50 I sent was successful. I'm pretty sure that Threads has a new donor! This place is great. I will give more news on that as more comes available to me.

Secondly, I entered en essay contest called "The Santa Rosa Violet Richardson Soroptimist Award" and won! I just got the letter in the mail. What this consists of is a $250 donation to Threads and I get to go to a luncheon in march. Also, my entry will be forwarded on to the regional level. That really made my day, along with a couple of other Threads for Teens related happenings. Definitely, this new year has brought in a lot of good.

Lastly, I have been reading a really good book lately called "Goals" by Brian Tracy. It has really helped me to put pin-point what I want to accomplish with my life and how to achieve those goals. The main thing that I have learned is to write down your goals! If you do that, you are much more likely to achieve them.

Well, I will blog soon!

-Allyson Ahlstrom :)