Your gently used coat and jeans may experience a second life but underwear and socks are much needed items that are often overlooked in the donation bin.
Lisa Graham of Seadance Photography was planning an opening event for her photography studio and was looking for a less frequented niche in community needs when she came across the idea for a panty drive.
“There are many popular organizations in the valley that are generously supported, especially at Christmas time but I wanted to find one that could use a little more attention,” she said. “I was doing some research online when I came across a website called Underwearness.org. It’s an American charity that collects underwear for children across the nation but I couldn’t find anyone in Canada doing it.”
When Lisa checked the Comox Valley Transition Society’s donation list for heir thrift store “Too Good to be Threw” she saw their request for new underwear and socks for women and children in all sizes and knew that this was going to be her ‘thing’. She was going to do a panty drive.
Cece Henderson and her apprentice Jessica opened their studio Gypsy Cece Tattoo, right next door to Seadance on the same November day and when Lisa invited her to join in the panty drive, Cece, who is also new in town, was onboard right away.
“I previously owned a tattoo shop in Ontario and for every event we held we’ve always included a charity,” said henderson. “It just seems like a good opportunity to bring awareness to community needs.”
The two studios put out a call for new underwear and opened their doors at their Strathcona Plaza locations on Saturday Jan. 16. The community responded wholeheartedly by bringing in 350 pairs of women and children’s underwear in all sizes.
Along with the donations, reports trickled in about how there were no more panties left to be bought in Comox. Both Lisa and Cece were thrilled with the enthusiasm and are happily planning Panty Drive 2017.