Donate bras for needy women

I stopped at the Soma store at The Greene over the weekend to see when the the shop would be collecting bras for women at area shelters.

Turns out the national bra drive at Soma stores throughout the country is now underway and is slated to run through Aug. 2. What you may not know is that the store will take your bras throughout the year as well. No purchase is necessary.

According to the Soma website, over 1,250,000 bras have been donated and distributed since July 2010, when the company set out on a mission to make a difference in the lives of women in need by collecting new or gently-worn bras. Our Beavercreek store alone has donated more than 8,000 of the undergarments.

In partnership with the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), the bras are distributed to women in need in local communities. In our area they go to the YWCA and the Greene County Family Violence and Prevention Center.

The National Network to End Domestic Violence is the leading voice for survivors of domestic violence, representing over 2,000 shelter programs throughout the United States. According to the organization, one in every four women will experience domestic violence. Survivors often arrive at shelters with little more than the clothes on their back and rely on donated items to get back on their feet. Bras are the most needed, yet least donated clothing item for women.

A decent bra, say project organizers, can also help a woman’s self-esteem and morale.

The first time we wrote about the bra drive in Make a Difference, a gentleman came into the store carrying a bag and looking a bit uncomfortable. He told the sales associates that his wife had recently passed away and that he was happy he could help someone else.

HOW TO HELP

You can donate bras of all sizes, all colors, any brand. I’d always assumed that the bras needed to be in pretty good shape, but it turns out that even those that have seen better days may still have parts that can be recycled — such as hooks and wires. Those exhausted bras are sent to a bra recycling and repair service.

Collecting the bras would be a great and easy project for your book group, weight loss class, women’s club. The bras can be brought to Soma seven days a week: from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sundays. The shop is located at 102 Plum St., next to Chico’s. If you have questions, call (937) 431-1725.

Bras can also be mailed to Soma: 102 Plum St., Suite D 104, Dayton, OH 45440.

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