Give. Gown. featured in the Ft. Collins Coloradoan Newspaper today!
"Apparently, everyone feels for a bride jilted on her wedding day - even if it's not by the groom but by a bridal shop that failed to deliver the promised fairytale wedding gown.
Offers of help are pouring in from as far away as Canada for Fort Collins brides left in the lurch when Mountain Avenue Bridal abruptly closed its doors last week.
Complaints filed with the Fort Collins police department are up to 77, most by brides who didn't get their gowns or a refund.
The story, picked up by MSNBC, AOL and Yahoo! News, has sparked an outpouring of aid from bridal shops to individuals with dresses they are willing to donate.
Some stories are heart-wrenching - a would-be bride whose fiance backed out at the last minute - to a bride who ended up with two dresses and a two-time bride willing to part with gown No. 1.
Justin Hjelm, a former Colorado resident, and his wife, Christie McCoy, run the nonprofit givegown.com, which collects and donates wedding dresses to people who can't afford them.
Hjelm said the nonprofit, which has a representative in Denver, is willing to donate dresses to any of the Mountain Avenue Bridal victims who didn't get their dresses on time "so they can get married in a beautiful gown."
"It's our way of giving back," said Hjelm, based in Las Vegas.
Givegown.com has bridesmaids' and wedding dresses, veils and other attire, "some of which have never been worn," he said. Hjelm and McCoy are inventorying the gowns, shooting photos and expect to have them posted on their Web site shortly. Most of the offers of help come from other brides who can understand how the shop's closing causes frustration and added stress at an already stressful time.
"I went through quite a bit of trauma with my own dress, so I certainly understand the situation these girls are in," said Anne Holicky of Fort Collins, who offered a dress.
Another bride from Bellingham, Mass., said she is getting married in a week and "can't imagine how those brides-to-be are coping."
And Shannon Miller of North Carolina said she doesn't have a $1,700 wedding gown but has a $500 never-before-worn Oleg Cassini dress she is willing to donate to any of the brides.
"I am not asking for money. I would just like to know if there is anyone of these poor women I can help? I only have one and truly wish I could do more, but I am more than willing to donate this dress to someone.
"I would hate to have been left without a wedding dress on my wedding day."