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Southeast's 'Brides for a Cause' supports charities with discounted dresses

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A nonprofit wedding boutique has found a way to meet a need for brides -- and for charities too


RITA A. LEONARD - Erin Scharf, founder of Brides for a Cause, displays some of the discounted wedding gowns in the local Brooklyn showroom.Who knew you could support charities through your wedding ceremony?

"Brides for a Cause", established in 2012, is a unique business at 2505 S.E. 11th Avenue, Suite 120, in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood. The boutique has over a thousand wedding dresses in stock (sizes 0-24) at discounts of up to 75%. They also carry bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses.

Profits were originally directed toward "Wish Upon a Wedding", a nonprofit that is dedicated to granting weddings and vow renewals to couples facing serious illness or life-altering circumstances.

However, in June, the shop itself became a nonprofit, allowing them to support other charities – such as "Brides Across America" and "Abby's Closet". Founder Erin Scharf confides to THE BEE, "We hope to support additional women-focused charities.

"Our inventory is donated from high-end salons, designers, manufacturers, and individuals," she explains. "About half our inventory is comprised of overstock and discontinued gowns from designers and salons. We carry almost every major designer, and our inventory is wide-ranging and constantly changing. New dresses come in daily, and are purchased 'off the rack'.

"Prices of gowns range between $150 and $1,500. Our Portland bridal store is open seven days a week, and we also sell online. Our Road Shows travel with our gowns to major west coast cities. Our Portland boutique in Brooklyn is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m."

Dress donations are accepted year-round for those who want to help fulfill the mission of recycling wedding dresses for charity. For more information, call 503/282-4000, or e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.