Dana Marlowe decided to make some lifestyle and health changes. No biggie. Well, actually, it was.
After losing a considerable amount of weight, Dana went to her local SOMA boutique to get fitted for new bras. While there, she asked the saleswoman what she should do with her old bras, that no longer fit. The saleswoman said four words: “Homeless women need bras.”
Dana had never thought about that. On her way home, she called a contact at a local D.C. shelter who confirmed this and mentioned that women experiencing homelessness also need menstrual hygiene products. Bras and hygiene products are the most requested but least donated items.
Dana got on Facebook and posted this (FB post pic):
A Movement Is Born
The post was shared hundreds of times. Products started pouring in. Boxes from as far away as France, Hong Kong and the UK, were delivered to Dana’s house. Breast cancer survivors who’d endured double mastectomies sent bags of their old bras. Packages from men whose wives had passed away, women who’d lost their mothers, and so on.
In less than 2 weeks, over 7,000 products were packaged by Dana and delivered to the homeless shelter in D.C. Dana did not stop there. She established a nonprofit dedicated to restoring dignity to girls and women experiencing homelessness by providing them with the basic necessities they lacked access too.
Elana Lederman, a friend of Dana’s who responded to the original Facebook post, said: “I thought it was just another Facebook post from my friend Dana. Ya know, her latest fashion statement, a picture of the kids having fun or maybe a post related to disability inclusion. But this one was different… Dana was asking her friends for used bras she would distribute to homeless women. I’m glad I didn’t just keep scrolling. Instead I went to my dresser, found bras in good condition I was no longer using and brought them to Dana’s house.
I’ve been watching on Facebook what that first donation drive has grown into and all I can say is: AMAZING!”
In 6 short years, a movement across the U.S. and globally has been created. ISTG has grown and through its 53 U.S. and 5 global affiliates, over 16,500,000 products have been distributed and 1,700,000 girls and women helped.