“She was a adamantine worker. She enjoyed life. She admired accomplishing annihilation outdoors. She was a accurate acquaintance and a fantastic, admiring daughter.” These are the words Betty Vitale-Neal uses to call her daughter, Tammi, who was taken from this apple abruptly at alone 19 years old back she hit atramentous ice and comatose into a tractor trailer.
Although Betty said goodbye to her admirable babe 22 years ago this March, she keeps her anamnesis animate through the amazing alms of Tammi’s Closet.
Betty tells Babble that in 2005, she heard that East Boston High School was accession brawl dresses. She absitively to accord Tammi’s, acceptance addition adolescent babe to accept a dress for her appropriate night that she may not accept contrarily been able to afford.
Then, nine years later, Betty and some accompany were talking about how big-ticket proms accept become and how it was a abashment that there wasn’t a brawl dress donation centermost in their boondocks of Amesbury, MA. That’s back the abstraction of Tammi’s Closet was born.
“We put out the chat and brawl dresses, shoes, and adornment started cloudburst in,” Betty tells Babble. “Cash donations started advancing in. And in March of 2014, Tammi’s Closet opened its doors. We gave abroad 17 dresses the aboriginal year.”
In 2015, Tammi’s Closet gave abroad 54 dresses and the boutique was able-bodied on its way to auspiciously allowance underprivileged girls accept the dresses of their dreams.
Betty herself grew up in difficult circumstances. Both of her parents battled alcoholism and by the time she was 16, she had absent them both. For this reason, Betty has a glimpse into what the girls who boutique at Tammi’s Closet ability be activity through. But admitting the adamantine activity she’s lived, her acceptable spirit and adulation for her babe agency that hundreds of girls appear prom and feel beautiful, behindhand of how abundant money they have.
Unfortunately, in 2016, Tammi’s Closet was beggared and 15 brawl dresses were stolen. Back Betty appear the abomination to police, her boutique acquired added absorption than anytime before.
“Before I knew it, account stations were calling me for an account about the missing dresses. It was apparent all over the U.S.,” Betty tells Babble. “My buzz was alarming up with calls from Florida, California, Kentucky, Missouri, and Kansas. People were sending me dresses, checks, shoes, and jewelry. I concluded up with over 900 brawl dresses. And with the banknote donations, Tammi’s Closet helped 11 adolescent men hire tuxedos for prom.”
What a admirable argent lining. After accident her babe to an abrupt tragedy and afresh accepting her assignment about baffled by thieves, aloof attending at Tammi’s Closet now! Her boutique is so acknowledged that she bare a storefront to abode all of the donated dresses — accretion 257 aftermost year alone!
However, in adjustment to charter a storefront, Betty bare help. So already again, she asked for donations. And already again, donations came. Her church, Main Street Congregational, gave Tammi’s Closet a $1,735 admission to advice pay rent. She additionally accustomed acceptable contributions from bounded businesses, such as the Institute for Savings and Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank, and an access of donations through her GoFundMe page. And now, Tammi’s Closet has a abiding home.
Betty says the boutique will be accessible in February of this year, aloof time for brawl arcade season. “Please apperceive any babe is acceptable to Tammi’s Closet. It does not amount area you live, every babe is welcome,” she says.
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