This is a guest post from Michelle Conway, MBA, Executive Director of Student and Client Services at Alvernia University’s O’Pake Institute. Michelle is collecting sports bras for homeless women at Opportunity House and shares what motivated her to take on this important project.
You are homeless.
You have an upcoming job interview.
You find an outfit to wear that makes you feel confident.
The day before your interview you realize that you don’t own a bra. You’ve been wearing baggy clothes to ‘cover-up.’ You realize that you have $15 dollars left for the week. You can either purchase a bra to wear or feed your family for the next 2-3 days.
What do you do?
The Heart-Wrenching Choice for Homeless Moms.
When women, particularly mothers, arrive at shelters like Opportunity House, they often come without bras. Faced with the decision of either buying a bra for themselves or ensuring that their children have enough to eat for the next 2-3 days, the choice becomes clear—they’ll feed their families.
In one of my first discussions with Holly Wolf, the Director of Marketing at Opportunity House, I asked her about the primary needs of women in the shelter. She proceeded to outline a range of necessities but paused to stress a particularly crucial one: bras. “Just picture yourself in a job interview, wanting to wear a bra, but not having access to one,” Holly said. Holly continued to tell me that some women won’t interview for jobs solely because they feel uncomfortable going braless.
Given the diversity in women’s body shapes and sizes, it can be challenging to find traditional fitted bras that suit everyone. At Opportunity House, they have discovered that sports bras offer an excellent solution for providing support to women of all shapes and sizes.
So, I made it my mission to collect as many sports bras as possible. Since launching the ‘Women Need Bras’ campaign on September 8. We’ve collected over 100 new sports bras. This campaign will end on October 18, National Bra Day.
Supporting Homeless Women In Transition
Opportunity House warmly welcomes new sports bras in sizes ranging from XS to 2X. Your generous donation of a sports bra holds the power to profoundly influence the lives of women facing homelessness.
How to Donate to the Homeless Women Staying at Opportunity House
You can show your support by dropping off new sports bras at the main donation box at the John R. Post Center at Reading CollegeTowne or through a purchase on Amazon (details below).
Drop off at our main donation box:
John R. Post Center at Reading CollegeTowne
401 Penn Street
Reading, PA 19601
Purchase on Amazon and send to the address below:
The O’Pake Institute
400 St. Bernardine St, Reading, PA 19607
Are you interested in hosting a sports bra collection for homeless women at Opportunity House?
We have a year-round need for sports bras and other essential items at Opportunity House. Hosting a collection is easy and we’ll pick up your bags or bins of donated items at locations within Berks County. Here’s how to do it:
- Choose the items to donate–it could be sports bras, underwear, toiletries*, diapers**, sweatshirts, sweatpants, and yoga pants to name a few items we always need.
- Establish your collection site and dates. We suggest a 30-day collection period.
- Create a flyer (or we’re happy to assist).
- Share on social media (and we’re happy to share it as well) and share with family and friends.
- Remind people of the collection event especially as the deadline nears.
- After the final collection date, drop off the items at Opportunity House OR call us at 610-374-4696 ext 293and we’ll pick up at your location.
- SMILE–You made an impact on homeless women in our community. Thank you.
* toiletries include shampoo, body wash, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, shaving cream, disposable razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and combs. Refillable travel-size containers are appreciated and helpful. Full or travel size welcome.