Imagine being able to simultaneously buy a wedding dress for a fraction of the cost while also helping those in need.

Brides for a Cause, a non-profit in Portland, does exactly that by collecting both new and used wedding dresses and selling them to help local and national charities, especially women-focused organizations that help with serious diseases; self-image and esteem; women in the military; and single, disabled, or abused women.

Erin Scharf, the founder of Brides for a Cause, in an interview with FOX12 stated “We kind of stepped back and thought maybe we could make more of a difference if we were a non-profit ourself, so then we can open up or beneficiaries and be able to impact and provide money to other charities that might need it.”

Scharf described the joy of founding such a unique non-profit. “Just seeing their face light up when they find their dress, I mean that is one of the most rewarding parts of our job.”

Soon-to-be bride, Jessica Taylor, who purchased her dress from Brides for a Cause, said, “The idea that I can get a dress here that kind of started as a donation from somebody who wanted to support this mission and then also my money, buying the dress would also support the mission. It’s a wonderful cycle.”

Since the organization’s founding, it has collected over 8,000 dresses and given over $450,000 to charities across the United States.

Learn more about Brides for a Cause at bridesforacause.com. 

Helen Cook is a current honors student at Benedictine College, where she is studying History with possible minors in English and Political Science. She is heavily active in student life, participating in three music ensembles as a violinist and leading Ravens Respect Life as president. When she is not busy with school and student life activities, she is found reading the many classical works of literature.