When I tried to find homes for my donation face mask, I called numerous shelters and soup kitchens. My “Buy one/Give one” face mask campaign had been a big success. I had sewn and sold more face masks than I had hoped for, but now holding up my end of the bargain was not as simple as I had thought it would be.
It’s not easy to locate people in need, besides the obvious homeless guy standing at the corner with a cardboard sign. My dream of finding a shelter for battered women came true on a Sunday when I finally got a callback. Yes, they were in need of masks for approximately 60-70 children and as many women, who by the way, will never see a dime of the stimulus money. That will stay with their abusive husbands since most of the women there are in hiding from their abuser.
200+ face masks for women and kids. It was a tall order, one I could not have fulfilled without the help of my husband -who cut material and elastic every day as part of his shoulder rehab.
Searching further, I came across a charity organization, called “I support the girls.” Where I have I been the last 56 years? I must have lived under a rock for the longest time. How could I not have seen the obvious? Well, I didn’t, but it’s never too late, isn’t it? As so often in my life -which is so typical for me- I dove headfirst into a new challenge. I wanted to collect bras for women in need.
Women are experiencing homelessness, they are victims of domestic violence, they fall into financial hardship and poverty. A woman shouldn’t have to choose between feeding herself and her personal health and hygiene.
Every woman should have the ability to maintain her dignity. I am a woman! I wanted to help! I know how expensive bras are. There was a time in my life I could hardly afford them myself.
But how could I MAKE women donate the three or four bras we all have hidden in our dressers. The ones we don’t wear, because they never fit right to begin with. We bought them without thinking -and trying. Poor neglected bras, just waiting for a new home -and owner.
I went online and ordered two large bins with lids at a local hardware store, picked them up an hour later -still not having a plan on how to fill them. I went to our neighborhood board and wrote a post with a rather provocative subject line -which also seems to become a trademark of me.
“Ladies, I want your bras!” It wrote, and I explained what I was hoping to do. I posted it and lunchtime and forgot all about it.
At 6 pm I walked outside and noticed one of the lids hadn’t been shut all the way. I wanted to correct my error, and when I did I noticed that the bin was already full of bras. So was the other bin. Two large bags with female hygiene products had been left quietly.
I don’t cry often -life has hardened me, but I wept like a willow. I walked inside, tears running down my face, unable to talk, which frightened my husband. “Go outside, look in the bins,” I managed to say and a few minutes later he came back inside, tears in his eyes as well. “Damn, girl…….,” he said which is a unique compliment.
Today is day 5 of the collection. So far I have collected 76 bras and two large boxes full of hygiene products. Three more days to go! Will I make it to 100? I hope so, but either way. The bra campaign has been a big success.
For every bra donated, one woman in a shelter will keep their dignity. I wish you would live closer. I would ask for your bra as well. 🙂