FAQs

What is I Support the Girls?

I Support the Girls (ISTG) collects and distributes donations of new/used bras and new sealed packages of tampons and maxi pads to homeless women and girls.

Where is I Support the Girls located?

Started by one woman out of her house in Silver Spring, Maryland, I Support the Girls has quickly grown into a worldwide movement. There are 48 North American affiliates and four worldwide (Australia, Canada, Philippines, Pakistan), with more opening soon. Please see our Locations page for more information.

Who founded I Support the Girls?

One woman: Dana Marlowe. A business owner, mother, loser of weight (yup, plays a pivotal role in how ISTG came about). I Support the Girls is Dana’s passion project, what keeps her up at night and moving during the day. Dana’s personal efforts have led to ISTG expanding across North America and worldwide. Because one person can make a BIG difference in the lives of thousands.

Why was I Support the Girls started?

Dignity is dignity.

Hundreds of thousands of homeless women and girls have to choose between clothes, menstrual hygiene products and their next meal. Some women on the streets wear the same bra for eight years. This means more than occasional back pain from the lack of support her stretched-out underwire offers. It also means the potential for infection from the material continuously rubbing against her skin, not to mention the daily embarrassment of a sagging, ill-fitting bra.

Every day thousands of girls and women have to choose between a meal or buying maxi pads.  We strip away any last remaining shreds of dignity when we force women to clean their periods each month with unwashed rags, or a wad of rolled up toilet paper—really, whatever is around that’s free and available.

What have you accomplished since ISTG’s founding?

Over the last three years, ISTG has…
– established 48 affiliates across the U.S. and 4 internationally (Australia, Canada, Philippines, Pakistan)
– collected and distributed 350,000 bras
– collected and distributed 1,100,000 feminine hygiene products
helped over 180,000 women (women and girls experiencing homelessness, victims of domestic violence, victims of sex trafficking, and refugees, evacuees affected by natural disasters)
– worked with 350 vetted donation partners (homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, refugee resettlement homes, foster care agencies, LGBTQ agencies,  homes for pregnant teens and more)
– partnered with more than 120 businesses and corporations to organize drives and collections and receive in-kind donations. Partners include: Procter & Gamble, The Coca-Cola Company, the City of Chicago, Spotify, Marriott, LOLA, Warby Parker, Lowe’s, Nordstrom’s, SOMA and Kimberly-Clark.
– been featured in national and local media over 200 times, providing an opportunity for our team to advocate for the rights of homeless women and raise awareness about women’s dignity and health. Outlets include: AP, NPR, Washington Post, USA Today, AJ+, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Newsweek and Yahoo News.

Are there volunteer opportunities available?

Yes! Please contact us and our volunteer coordinator can discuss volunteer opportunities.


I would like to host a drive. What’s the first step?

You’re amazing! Thanks for your support. Please register your drive by filling out the form here, and we’ll be in touch!


My organization needs product. How do I get a donation?

Please complete this form. Keep in mind:

  1. We donate to registered organizations, with others considered on a case-by-case basis. If you are an individual, please find an affiliate near you to connect you to a location that distributes our donations.
  2. If you are collecting for a project or putting together care packages, we are happy to help you by sending you information on how to hold a successful drive. Simply fill out the drive registration form above. Thanks!
  3. We are unable currently to pay shipping costs to send you products. If you are near an affiliate, we can easily connect with you. If not, please be prepared to cover your shipping costs. We can provide an estimate for planning purposes.

Bras

What kind of bras are you accepting?

Any kind of bra, used or new, in good condition is accepted.

What types or styles of bras do you take?

Regular bras, underwire bras, sports bras, training bras, maternity bras, nursing bras, lacy bras, cotton bras, satiny bras, binders, and more.

What sizes are you accepting?

All sizes accepted from training bras to custom made, extremely large bras.

Do you accept nursing pads?

Yes, as long as they are unused and individually sealed or in a sealed box.


Pads and tampons

Menstrual Hygiene Products

What kind of tampons or sanitary napkins do you accept?

Any brand or size as long as they are individually sealed.

I have an opened box of tampons or package of maxi pads, but I didn’t like them. Can you still accept it?

Yes, please tape up the box or package with all the individually sealed items inside.

What is the biggest need?

The best product with the most impact would be overnight maxi pads with wings.

Do you accept or distribute reusable products such as menstrual cups?

Menstrual cups are a great idea, however many of the cup manufacturers ask that the user use “boiling” water to sterilize and not hot water. Boiling water is hard for many homeless people to find.

I Support the Girls is strictly donation based. In 1 year, we have asked for cups but they are harder for many donors across the U.S. who haven’t heard of them to find. We have received and donated 1,100,000 menstrual hygiene products (maxipads and tampons) and 3 menstrual cups. They are just not that common to donate. If we received more cups, we would absolutely find people to take them.


I would like to host a drive. What’s the first step?

You’re amazing! Thanks for your support. Please register your drive by filling out the form here, and we’ll be in touch!

Can I donate the products locally?

For sure! We can put you in contact with our local affiliate head who will coordinate the dropoff and distribution.

Is there a minimum amount of products I need to donate?

Nope! Any amount of products your drive collects will be greatly appreciated by girls and women experiencing homelessness in your community.

How many products should I expect to collect?
Every drive is different and there are many factors which affect the total amount of products collected. Best to be realistic when deciding upon a goal- it’s important to factor in how many people you can reach with your call to action and how much time the drive will be ongoing.
Is there a “better time” to hold my drive?
There’s never a bad time to host a drive! We work 365/24/7 to distribute products so drives during any point in the year are always welcome.

Where are the donated items going?

Donations are collected locally by our affiliates and then distributed locally to our organizational partners.

What types of organizations receive product donations?

Items donated to specific affiliates are distributed to homeless women and girls in that city through homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, refugee resettlement homes, foster care agencies, LGBTQ agencies, homes for pregnant teens and more.


Tax Deduction

Is I Support the Girls a recognized 501c3 nonprofit organization?

ISTG is a 501c3 within its parent organization, For the Girls, Inc., a national clearinghouse that provides guidelines, resources, and support to individuals and organizations to assist in collecting bras and feminine hygiene products to donate to homeless shelters for women in need.

Can I get a tax donation receipt for my donation?

Yes, you can. Please email info@isupportthegirls.org to request a tax receipt for a product donation. You will automatically receive one for a monetary donation.

How do I donate my menstrual hygiene products or bras?

There are a number of donation options:

  1. Donate to your local affiliate. See our affiliate locations here.
  2. Mail them to

    I Support the Girls
    P.O. Box 2736
    Silver Spring, Maryland 20915

How can I help fund your efforts?

Checks should be made out to For The Girls, Inc. You can mail checks to:

I Support the Girls
P.O. Box 2736
Silver Spring, Maryland 20915

Contribute via credit card to our Crowdrise campaign to help us hire the staff needed grow and help run bra drives across the country. Our non-profit can then provide support and oversight for people around the country and around the world to run bra drives of their own.

Donate to I Support the Girls via Paypal: 


Disaster Relief – Summer of 2017

  • What was needed? Your period doesn’t stop because of a hurricane! Thousand of girls and women were evacuated from their homes without a chance to pack personal items, including bras and feminine hygiene products. This means they lack the most basic, personal items and temporary shelters unfortunately do not have enough for everyone.
  • How did people help? I Support the Girls has 3 Texas affiliates (in Dallas/Fort Worth, Austin and San Antonio), an affiliate in south Florida and in Charleston, SC which worked around the clock to provide donated products for evacuees. Tens of thousands of products were donated from across the U.S. and some of the donated products were shipped to Puerto Rico to help those affected by Hurricane Maria. ISTG requested sealed menstrual products and/or new or washed gently used bras and you responded in a big way!
  • If I didn’t have products, could I make a financial donation? Yes. Monetary funds helped us pay for storage, shipping and product distribution costs. People donated via Paypal, our Crowdrise campaign or donated products via an Amazon wishlist we set up.
  • Were tax receipts available for donations? Yes. Please see the “Tax Deduction” section above for more details.
  • Has I Support the Girls helped with disaster relief before? Unfortunately we are experienced with mobilizing quickly and helping during a time of need. We have delivered tens of thousands of products, almost immediately, to people affected by: 1) the Baton Rouge, LA Flooding in 2016 2) Hurricane Matthew, NC in 2016 3) Gatlinburg Wildfires in TN 4) Silver Spring Apartment Complex fires in 2016 and in the summer of 2017 we delivered tens of thousands of products to those affected by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. Because our affiliate network covers all regions of the U.S., we can mobilize quickly to help meet the need. Our affiliates reach out to their local networks in order to solicit and funnel donations to the affected areas.