A couple of months ago a friend of mine shared a link to an organization that I fell in love with. Its called Free the Girls. It takes donations of gently used bras and sends them over seas to help women in who have been rescued from human trafficking.
Yeah let that sit in for a minute.
And I was complaining that my phone was updating facebook too slowly earlier today. :S Provides a little perspective, right?
From the Free The Girls website:
SO WHAT’S THE PROBLEM?
Currently 27 million men, women and children are being held as slaves around the world—more today than in any other time in history. 80% of those slaves are women and girls. There are a number of amazing organizations that are helping to rescue these women out of a life of prostitution, but what happens after they are rescued? Many safe houses and aftercare facilities are doing great work in providing comprehensive rehabilitation and educational opportunities to survivors, but often their resources are limited.
By partnering with safe houses and after-care facilities, we provide an opportunity for women rescued from sex trafficking to earn a living selling second-hand clothing while going to school, getting healthy, and caring for their families. Selling clothes allows them to work as much or as little as their school schedule permits. The women in our program receive their starting inventory as a donation, and are then able to buy additional inventory from Free The Girls for below wholesale value to help maintain their competitive edge on the marketplace. Revenue from inventory sales helps subsidize overseas program costs.
Let’s face it, ladies: the back of your underwear drawer is most likely a graveyard of bras you don’t wear anymore or that never fit right in the first place. By contrast, second-hand clothing is a profitable market in many countries around the world. Bras are sought after items. Some of the girls in our program are making 5x the minimum wage in their community by selling bras! And even better, bras provide an opportunity for these women to work with other women, since they have a history of being abused and used by men.
Free The Girls launched in August 2010, and to date we’ve collected over 80,000 gently used bras from women all over the world. In Spring 2011, working alongside our first safe house partner, Project Purpose, we launched a pilot program in Mozambique, Africa. The results of the pilot program were very promising—the women made 3-5x minimum wage selling bras. In February 2012, we were featured in a 3-part series of stories by CNN’s Freedom Project. The response was amazing, with an outpouring of support from all over the world! As a result, we shipped 32,000 bras to Mozambique in July 2012. Since the bras arrived, we’re happy to report that we’ve been able to replicate the results of our successful pilot program and add more women to our program, for a current total of 20. The women sell between 100-500 bras each per month. CNN aired a 30-minute follow-up documentary on Free The Girls on February 15, 2013 (watch online here). We are also in conversations to partner with after-care providers in four new locations in 2013.
I love when organizations make impactful change easy to do. I sat on this for months before taking action – wanting the perfect event or fund raiser but now it is time for action. I am simply asking for bras and doing what I can to collect them. I mean really how many of us women have them sitting in our drawers that we never wear that don’t fit or might even still have tags on them??
My goals is to collect 500 in the month of May. If you want to contribute please see my Facebook event for further details!! YAY!! Let’s do something simple and easy together that helps women earn their own income and be in charge of their own lives!!