If all goes well, the cups shall runneth over at The Clothes Line in Bradford and Alliston this month.
In recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the Tec-We-Gwill Women’s Institute is running their Bra Bank campaign through which residents can donate new or gently used bras throughout the month of October by placing them in the donation bin located in the women’s change room of the BWG Leisure Centre.
“It is important for two reasons: First, we’re bringing awareness for Breast Cancer Awareness Month and for women to have things checked, and second, it’s a way to support women who are financially strapped so they can get bras reasonably priced at The Clothes Line,” said Donna Jebb, president of the Tec-We-Gwill Women’s Institute.
She explained several of the institute’s members are breast cancer survivors and part of the group’s mandate is for women to educate themselves and bring more awareness to health issues for women.
At the end of the month, before the bras are donated to the thrift store, Jebb said they will be collected, and based on their total weight in pounds, the institute will make a monetary donation split between the mammogram departments at Stevenson Memorial Hospital in Alliston and South Lake Regional Health Centre in Newmarket.
“Last year we gathered 400 pounds of bras and made a $400 donation,” she said.
While the individual number of bras wasn’t counted, Jebb explained that it was enough to easily fill the back of her Buick Enclave SUV, and this year the group is hoping to exceed that amount.
The support from Tec-We-Gwill makes a significant difference, according to Brenda Pufek, development and engagement officer for CONTACT Community Services, which runs The Clothes Line.
“We get this amazing selection of bras that we’re able to offer at a price that everyone can afford, and we’re able to help people in the community who wouldn’t otherwise be able to get something as nice as what’s been donated to us,” she said.
A bra might not be the first item of clothing that comes to mind in terms of donations, but finding the right one can be an uplifting experience, according to Pufek.
“It just makes you feel good to wear something that is nice and makes you feel good about yourself,” she said.
The Federated Women’s Institutes of Ontario (FWIO) is a not-for-profit charitable organization working with and for women of Ontario to promote inclusive and supportive social networking for community action and personal growth, offering educational programs and advocating for social, environmental and economic change.
The Clothes Line recycles gently used clothing, small household goods, electronics, toys, and books, as well as working with local community organizations to provide free clothing and household goods to those in need. Proceeds raised by The Clothes Line help support CONTACT’s various programs and services.