Donations of bras in Comox Valley helping human trafficking survivors

Comox Valley women have jumped at the chance to help human trafficking survivors, simply by donating their bras.

YVONNE MORAN-READ says she and her daughter Demi are increasingly collecting new and gently used bras to help female human trafficking survivors in other parts of the world.

Comox Valley women have jumped at the chance to help human trafficking survivors, simply by donating their bras.

“It’s going well; it’s going very well actually,” says Yvonne Moran-Mead, who started collecting bras in the Comox Valley with her 18-year-old daughter Demi.

Yvonne and Demi recently discovered Free The Girls, a U.S.-based non-profit organization that collects new and gently used bras to send to female human trafficking survivors in other parts of the world. The women then sell the garments to earn their own money as they start their lives over.

The project has been successful so far in Mozambique where women made up to five times minimum wage selling bras, and it’s expected to expand to Kenya, Uganda, Mexico and El Salvador.

When Yvonne and Demi heard about the success of the initiative, they decided to become a collection location in Canada.

They can pick up bras from Campbell River to Nanaimo because their Comox Valley business, Sweet Little Baby Cakes — a home-based business selling decorative ‘cakes’ made out of baby diapers — requires them to travel regularly up and down the mid-Island.

When the Record reported on their project at the beginning of the month they had about 40 bras. Since then, community interest has grown, there are three more drop-off locations and about 320 bras have been donated as of this week.

“That’s a very large amount,” adds Yvonne. “It didn’t take much from anybody in the community because anybody that did donate, said, ‘Oh yeah, it’s easy to do, it’s an awesome idea.’

“That’s kind of what kept it rolling and knowing that the women now can use those (bras) — it is going to make a difference (for them).”

Secret Drawers Lingerie (431 Fifth St. in Courtenay), the Comox Community Centre (1855 Noel Ave.) and Dandelion Heartwork (7017 Leland Rd. in Lantzville) have stepped up as drop-off locations, but the Comox Community Centre will only be a drop-off location until the end of March.

Alternately, anyone who would like bras picked up from their home or business can contact Yvonne or Demi at 250-897-3224, sweetlittlebabycakes@telus.net or through their website at www.sweetlittlebabycake.weebly.com.

Yvonne stresses bras can be any size, shape or colour, including nursing bras, sports bras and camisoles. She notes many women have been concerned their bras are not fancy enough to donate, but they really don’t need to be fancy and plain bras are gladly accepted.

She says meeting so many women during bra pickups has been fun, and points out one woman in particular who heard about the initiative and gathered a whopping 59 bras from her friends after cleaning out her own unused bras from her drawer.

“She said, ‘My goodness, I had quite a few myself’ and she handed me this huge garbage bag when I drove out to pick up the bras,” recalls Yvonne. “It’s been kind of cool because lots of the women want to actually speak to you when you pick up the bras, which has been really awesome, so I’ve gotten to hear probably more stories than I needed to know (laughs) about their bra situation, but it’s been really fun that way.”

As well, Yvonne and Demi offer $3 off of their baby diaper packages per bra donation, and Yvonne says some donations have been coming in that way as well.

A woman “ordered a cake from us for her daughter’s baby shower and she sent out the word to all 30 of her guests, ‘Hey, you’ve got to bring a bra!’ So that’s awesome,” adds Yvonne.

“Both my daughter and I feel, everybody — not just us — but everybody’s helped make a difference for those women, which has been great. So we really appreciate what everybody’s done.”

For more information on Free The Girls visit www.freethegirls.org.

writer@comoxvalleyrecord.com

Just Posted

Unity Comox Valley hosts serenity service in Comox Thursday

Do you have mixed feelings about the holidays? Unity offers a special… Continue reading

UPDATE: RCMP involved in crash south of Courtenay Saturday night

An RCMP member was involved in a three-vehicle collision on Highway 19… Continue reading

Mental health advocate’s journey with dissociative identity disorder sparks conversation

Coast Mental Health Courage to Come Back Awards nomination deadline Jan. 31

Assisted living workers allegedly attacked while picketing

BCGEU president Stephanie Smith says arrows and gasoline were thrown at the picketers early in the week

Dangerous drug confirmed in the Comox Valley

Lab test confirms the presence of fentanyl in powder substance

VIDEO: This B.C. school leads country in vaccine donations to UNICEF

Federally funded Kids Boost Immunity uses quizzes to earn vaccinations

Boeser scores 3, Pettersson has 5 points as Canucks hammer Blues

Vancouver picks up impressive 6-1 win in St. Louis

B.C. police stop drunk driver who offered up burger instead of ID

Roadblock checks over the weekend found at least two other impaired drivers

In Canada, the term ‘nationalism’ doesn’t seem to have a bad rap. Here’s why

Data suggest that Canadians don’t see the concept of nationalism the way people do in the United States

Small quake recorded west of Vancouver Island

No injuries or tsunami warning after 5.4 rumble felt some 400 kilometres from Victoria

B.C. suspends Chinese portion of Asian forestry trade mission due to Huawei arrest

Huawei’s chief financial officer Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of U.S. in Vancouver

Canadians spent $1.7 billion dollars online in December 2017

Online retail sales accounted for 3.4 per cent of total retail sales

2-year investigations nets $900,000 in refunds for payday loan customers

Consumer Protection BC says selling practices were ‘aggressive and deceptive’

China: Canada’s detention of Huawei exec ‘vile in nature’

Huawei is the biggest global supplier of network gear for phone and internet company

Most Read