Why a Flat-Chested Woman Launched a Bra Drive

Carol Preston and Dana Marlowe with a huge pile of donations at Carol's partyBy Carol Preston

Confession: Camisoles more than adequately meet my needs.

I wear a padded bra only occasionally to provide some shape and help certain clothes hang better. So why would I collect bras for other women?

Because no woman should have to choose between purchasing food or paying rent or buying a bra. You and I don’t have to make that choice.

Why should they?

I served on the board of Bread for the City (a non-profit organization that provides vulnerable residents with services including food, clothing, medical care, legal and social services) in Washington, D.C. for eight years and have remained a supporter. When I read the Washington Post story this fall about Dana Marlowe’s quest for bras to help homeless women in D.C., the light bulb clicked on. This was a much more hands-on way to contribute to women who rely on an organization I love, not only for clothing but also medical, legal and social services.

I used two neighborhood listservs to spread the word. Women quickly delivered more than 200 gently used and new bras, feminine hygiene products, and boxes of diapers to my house. Facebook friends came through in spades.

A Frederick, Maryland gym instructor collected nearly 100 bras, urging her friends and students to become ‘Sisters taking care of Sisters.’ Another friend collected bras from her Weight Watchers group. Synagogue Sisterhood? Check. Friends? Check. Strangers? Double check. The bra snowball was barreling down the hill.

On December 18th, I delivered 571 bras to Bread for the City. Another 100 bras have come in since then. Bread for the City plans to distribute the bras at a Women’s Wellness event this winter.

Here’s what I learned: Women don’t know what to do with their un-used bras. Until now.

So let’s breathe fire into the 2016 goal to collect a #MillionBras to Support the Girls.

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