FOR THE GIRLS

Cause Area

  • Advocacy & Human Rights
  • Disaster Relief
  • LGBTQ+
  • Women

Location

393 E Gude DriveRockville, MD 20850 United States

Organization Information

Mission Statement

Through an international network of Affiliates, I Support the Girls (ISTG) collects and distributes essential items, including bras, underwear, and menstrual hygiene products, allowing women and folx experiencing homelessness, impoverishment, or distress to stand tall with dignity.

Description

In July 2015, the concept behind I Support the Girls (ISTG) was born from a conversation between the Founder, Dana Marlowe, and a sales clerk at a bra store. With the words, "Homeless women need bras, too," the first drive for donations began. Marlowe spoke with a homeless shelter in her area that confirmed that bras are infrequently donated, are in high demand, and are expensive to purchase. It was the same story with menstrual hygiene products. Women on the street regularly choose between food and these items, meaning they frequently use creative means to address their needs: belts around their chest to replace bras, wadded-up toilet paper, paper towels, or newspaper instead of hygiene products.

The lack of bras and hygiene products is an issue in every community. Still, the problem is rarely discussed due to the taboo nature of menstruation. Our grassroots efforts continued to spread worldwide.

As we started providing bras to people experiencing homelessness, we learned that a bra allows a person to stand up straighter, improve their self-esteem, and build confidence. A bra can help start them on a new path. Our recipient organizations now include day shelters, domestic violence organizations, Title 1 schools, LGBTQ+ specific organizations, addiction rehabilitation facilities, Native American Reservations, Departments of Corrections and re-entry programs, food banks, organizations serving breast cancer survivors, immigrants and asylees, and more.

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